A/N: One of the many stories in the Skyrim AU of A Season of Dragons and War. ASDW is a series of tales that take place in the same AU, being inspired by the modding community and my own fantasy of how I envisioned the game back in the day as if I was roleplaying. I hope you enjoy these Fanfics. So far, there are fifteen characters I am looking at that are prominent in the ASDW. They're all based on my own playthroughs of modded Skyrim.
This story itself is centered around the Dragonborn of Prophecy, who is a Nord of sorts. (Notice I took out the Last part in Dragonborn and I said "Nord of Sorts")
A Season of Dragons and War – A Breath of Gods
Chapter 1: Memory Loss
Was he truly the last with the Blood and Soul of a Dragon? Or was that how a new world order started? With him? There was a man who was caught in an ambush, which the events afterwards would forever change Nirn. With no memory, he is deeply confused and wonders what his future holds.
4E 201, 17th of Last Seed
Outside of Helgen, Falkreath Hold
Darkness….that's all that came to mind. I had a splitting headache. I couldn't remember a thing. I don't know what happened, why I was here, or where I was going. I was waking up and trying to wait on my eyes to adjust to the lighting of my surroundings. I only heard the sounds of a wagon being pulled by a horse. I just realized that I was on the moving wagon that was being pulled by a horse. I began to wake, shaking my head as my vision cleared. We were going through a forest of some kind down a road as we went downhill. I looked around figuring out that I wasn't the only one in this wagon. There were three others. Two of them wore blue, one of them in regular rag clothing like me. I started getting my balance back, but I still felt lopsided. I looked to the left to see that we were going downhill and that there was another wagon full of prisoners in front of us. My eyes caught a glimpse of two figures sitting on a snow dusted ledge, their skin just as pale as the snow. In fact, they blended right in with the snow. But the trees hid them as we passed.
I returned to observing my surroundings, in front of the carts was a guard on a horse. Behind us was the same deal, an escort on a horse. I noticed someone walking out into the middle of the road behind the last cart. It was a dark greyish brown skinned figure with jet black hair and strange looking robes. I blinked, and it was gone. I wasn't sure how I could notice them. I sighed as I looked around. I started to ponder many things. Why was I in these binds? Why am I riding on a stupid wagon that was leaving splinters in my butt and I sure as hell wished I didn't have to currently smell the stench of horse dung as it was taking a crap while trotting down a path pulling prisoners on a wagon. I noticed that there were Deer fleeing at the sight of us. After a five-minute ride, there was a Bosmer standing on the side of the road. He wore a green hood with a brown vest and had a bow with a quiver full of arrows. His hood hid the upper part of his face.
"Hey, you," I heard someone say, "You're finally awake." I looked at the man sitting in front of me.
"That's what happens when you're awoken by a horrible chauffeur's driving," I replied rubbing my head with both my palms.
"I agree," The man next to him spoke up, who was the only one not in blue other than me.
The Nord in front of me continued. "You were trying to cross the border, right?" He asked. "Walked right into that Imperial ambush, same as us, and that thief Lokir, over there." He gestured by tilting his head to the man next to him.
The thief scoffed in annoyance. "Damn you Stormcloaks," He uttered and spit at the wood beneath his feet, "Skyrim was fine until you came along. Empire was nice and lazy." The man next to me looked at him. I figured he'd said something but there was one problem. Why did he have a cloth over his mouth? "If they hadn't been looking for you, I could've stolen that horse and be halfway to Hammerfell." I kept my mind clear, but I knew that it just like a thief to put the blame on someone else. But then again, maybe he was right, maybe it was these uh…Stormcloaks' fault. What was a Stormcloak? My thoughts were broken when the thief named Lokir spoke once again.
"You there, uh what's your name?"
I stared at him, my head throbbing. Amnesia… "I uh…." I started, "I think it is Mi-no." I sighed. "I don't know."
"You don't remember your name?" The blue uniformed man spoke who was in front of me.
"I don't remember anything," I replied visibly struggling with this.
"Nothing at all?"
"Nothing but a normal conversation."
"Well damn," The man said, "I didn't think you got hit that hard. You walked right into an ambush meant for us. You were crossing the border from Cyrodiil. It was just bad luck, I guess. I don't know why you came, but it seems that you have had a run of bad luck yourself. I can tell that you are a son of Skyrim, a Nord like us. If you were Imperial, I doubt you would be with us in binds."
"You and me," Lokir interrupted looking at me, "We shouldn't be here. It's these Stormcloaks the Empire wants." He spat the word Stormcloak.
"We're all brothers and sisters in binds now," the man in front of me said then spat, "thief."
"You know he's got a point," I commented. Our chauffeur spoke up finally.
"Shut up back there!" He uttered sounding just about annoyed with the arrangement as we were.
Lokir ignored him. "And what's wrong with him," He said seething with amusement, "huh?"
"Watch your tongue," the man in front of me spoke sharply, "You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High King."
"Ulfric?" Lokir said staring at the man in the eye, "The Jarl of Windhelm? You're the leader of the rebellion. But if they've captured you…." Fear filled Lokir's expression. "Oh gods, where are they taking us?" If he's the leader of a rebellion, they're most likely going to execute him…. the color drained from my face. That was most likely where they were taking us, to the same place. My heart rate quickened. I'd try to see if I could talk my way out of it. I don't remember what I was doing here. How was that justifiable if they tried to execute me. There was no way it was legal to execute me for crossing the border, not unless I murdered someone, which I don't think I did. No, I felt I didn't. I couldn't have.
"Shit," I muttered under my breath. Fear had overtaken me to the point I couldn't even say another word. It was unbearable.
"I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits," The man in front of me said. That was another thing I remembered a little of. I remembered the Gods and some of Skyrim's Deities. I looked ahead of us. We were approaching a settlement that was for sure. I could see more soldiers walking towards it from another path.
I could hear frantic pleads to whomever from Lokir. "This can't be happening," He said frightened of the situation, "This isn't happening." Oh it was happening thief, you can bet your life on that one. That was a low pun even for me.
"Hey," The man in front of me said, "What village are you from horse thief?"
Lokir looked thrown off by that question but was still frightened at our impending executions. "Why do you care?" He asked voice cracking.
The man shrugged. "A Nord's last thoughts should be of home," He replied wisely.
Lokir sighed bowing his head probably praying. "Rorikstead," He spoke up, "I'm… I'm from Rorikstead."
"My name is Ralof," The man spoke up, "I….."
Before he continued we were right in front of the gates of the settlement. Imperials quickly drowned us out.
"General Tullius, sir!" A soldier yelled from the walkway over the town gates, "The headsman is waiting!"
"Good," I heard someone say on the other side of the settlement walls, "Let's get this over with." I noticed various townspeople coming and going from the gate, One of them stood out in particular, a Nord, similar to others I was lumped with. He wore heavy clean steel armor, with a large sword over his back as well as a shield. This Nord was massive, probably slightly bigger than I. There was a horse near him that he was feeding an apple. It had a saddle with a family crest on it. It was of some kind bird.
I heard Ulfric make a sound under his cloth gesturing to Ralof then to the large Nord. "Shor's bones…." He said, "That's one of the Sky-Heart's. I thought their clan fled skyrim when the Silver-Hand came after them. I hope there aren't any here."
"Who are the Silverhand?" I asked, "or what are they?"
"Not much is known about the Silverhand," Ralof said, "Some say they're a Mercenary faction. For whatever reason, they had problems with Clan Sky-Heart a while back," Ralof spoke, "The Sky-Hearts were once known as fierce sons and daughters of Skyrim, often being Frost Battlemages. And just because they were good with Frost magic didn't mean they wouldn't tear you limb from limb with their strength and valor as warriors. They also were to have said to have good relations with Giants and the Northern beasts."
Before anything else could be said, the horse thief decided to pray. "Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh, Divines," He pleaded, "please help me." We finally made it through the gates. A bald man in Imperial armor was talking to some elves in some golden armor. One however was wearing some kind of dark robes that seemed entirely elven-like. She stood in the middle. Then there was an Elven woman that looked stunningly beautiful for an elf, wearing elven armor that wasn't amber in color. It was creamy white with golden fastenings. Her helmet was tucked against her side by her forearm.
Ralof scoffed. "Look at him," He said venomously, "General Tullius, the Military Governor. And it looks like the Thalmor are with him. Damn elves. I bet they had something to do with this." Ulfric let out a muffled growl most likely in agreement. They probably did, if these Stormcloaks loathed them so much. Either that or it was just our dumb luck. I looked around as we passed towers and homes. The fortifications were made of traditional stone and the homes were mostly wood and made of anything similar. Leaning against one of the homes that were near the Thalmor elves and the General was a sky blue-skinned elf with her arms folded, glaring at the Thalmor direction. The Thalmor were very popular. I did notice something that seemed out of place. A Khajiit wearing ragged clothes and having two swords in a crisscross on her back, was standing on a branch of a tree above the wall closest to the Elves and the General. The Khajiit looked livid.
"Hey look-" I started. She hissed before drinking a potion of some sort and turning invisible, and that was the last I saw of her.
"What?" Lokir asked.
"Never mind," I sighed.
Ralof seemed to ignore us and had gone into a reminiscing state. "This is Helgen." He looked up at the sky as if remembering a pleasant memory. "I used to be sweet on a girl from here." He sighed. A faint smile smoothed on my face. "Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in." He grunted a chuckle as he looked at a tower behind him. "Funny. When I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe….."
Yeah, now we're being led to our executions between them. How's that for irony? I caught a glimpse of a family looking at us from their front patio. A little boy sat on the stairs while his mom and dad stared at us with knowing eyes. "Who are they daddy?" I heard the boy ask, "Where are they going?"
"Jeroll…." The mother said directing her words at her husband.
"You need to go inside little cub," The father said to his son.
"Why?" The boy asked looking at his father, "I want to watch the soldiers." Of course, it was common knowledge the young always had a fascination with soldiers. That's what they always wanted to be. I think I did too at one point.
The father reinforced his authority. "Inside the house Haming," He said sternly, "Now."
The boy sighed disappointed. "Yes father." Haming spoke. I noticed that there was a Redguard Woman with long hair alongside three young Redguard children. Two boys and a girl. I briefly wondered how I knew they were known as Redguards? I came to the realization that I knew what the other figures were as well. The pale skinned figures atop the ledge….Falmer or Snow Elf. The figure that disappeared when I blinked…..Dwemer, or dwarf. The elf that was glaring at the Thalmor was Moarmer, a Sea Elf. They all wore something that looked like something that would be in a desert. I overheard them talking to an Imperial Soldier, who was also a Redguard.
"Yes Myra," The Imperial Soldier spoke, "The way to Whiterun is out the North Gate. Good luck to you and your children. Hurry before they close the gates."
"Thank you my friend," The woman replied, "Maybe one day our paths will cross again."
"I hope that day will come."
"Come on you three," She said to her children, "We've got a long walk."
"Yes momma," The three said looking tired already.
"Whoa," I heard an Imperial say. I wondered what was happening but then I realized that the first transport had come to a stop in front of a closed gate. I guessed that he was speaking to the horse he was directing.
Our driver started to make the horse pull the wagon right up next to the first. I heard a woman start barking orders. I turned to see her. "Get these prisoners out of the carts," She demanded directing red and brown armored Imperials all around her, "Move it!"
"Why are we stopping?" Lokir asked nervously.
Ralof grunted. "Why do you think?" He asked then said acceptingly, "End of the line."
The carriage came to a stop and our driver got off the cart. I sighed and bowed my head. I prayed to the gods. I don't know what I did to deserve this. I don't know why. But I'm asking you to give me a chance. If not, I will gladly go to Sovngarde if permitted. If not Sovngarde, then to the service of the Divines. I could see the block over at the base of a tower and the headsman waiting impatiently.
"Let's go," Ralof said to me and I looked up at him, "Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us." I nodded and we all got up in unison. My heart hammered in my chest, and adrenaline was starting to kick in. I was prepared for my fate, or so I thought.
"No!" Lokir pleaded, "Wait! We're not rebels!" Ulfric hopped off with him right behind him.
"Face your death with some courage," Ralof said from behind me then spat the last word, "thief."
"You've got to tell them!" Lokir pleaded to Ralof, "We weren't with you! This is a mistake!" I know that he was about to die, but this was starting to get on my nerves. Crying over it won't fix anything unless by some miracle. I felt pity for him though.
I looked to my right to see a Nord handing a pitch-black lizard-like man a waterskin. The lizard-like man…..Argonian. The Redguard Legion soldier from earlier, that was talking with the Redguard family, spoke in a hushed voice.
"Hurry up," He said, "This gate is supposed to be locked."
"I'll talk to you after the execution," The Nord said to the Argonian, "You're doing good work." The Argonian merely nodded, as the soldier closed the door, locking him out.
I hopped out behind Lokir. The Imperials didn't give a crap about his pleas. All they saw were rebels and traitors apparently, not a thief and whoever I was. My mind started racing with several thoughts. All of them wondering what my life like was before I lost my memory.
"Step towards the block when we call your name," The Captain said. I could see that she wore different armor than the other Imperial's. I guessed that she was a Captain or something. "One at a time. Hadvar start calling names from this group."
"Empire loves their damn lists," Ralof muttered.
"Ulfric Stormcloak," The one called Hadvar said, "Jarl of Windhelm." Ulfric walked forward and then towards the block around the others.
"It has been an honor," Ralof said out loud, "Jarl Ulfric." Ulfric nodded back behind him as the other Stormcloaks repeated his words.
"Ralof of Riverwood," Hadvar said. Ralof followed Ulfric. "Lokir of Rorikstead."
Lokir stepped forward acting out in desperation. "No!" He pleaded, "I'm not a rebel. You can't do this!" And he bolted.
"Halt!" The captain ordered. Lokir didn't listen. He kept running back the way he came.
"You're not going to kill me!" He stuttered as he ran.
"Archers!" The captain signaled. Damn…..he's going to die a lot more painfully now. Maybe I should try my luck and do the same. Next thing I knew, Arrows had found their way into the body of Lokir. He dropped, succumbing to death. I stared at him. That was a bit harsh, he didn't murder anyone and there was no treason. Why did he have to die like that? Why didn't they just capture him, put him back in place?
"Anyone else feel like running?" The captain sneered.
Hadvar looked at his book he was holding and up at me. "Wait," He said slightly confused, "You there. Step forward." I did so, obediently as my muscles were straining under adrenaline. "Who are you?" They didn't know my name? Good, maybe I could get out of here without having my head cut off.
"I don't know….," I said realizing that no matter my frightened state, that my voice had remained just as deep and sandy sounding as I knew.
"You don't know?"
"All I know," I explained, "That I was crossing the border to Skyrim. Then I was hit over the head by one of your soldiers when I came across both the Imperials and Stormcloaks."
"I'm sorry. You picked a bad time to come home to Skyrim, kinsman," He replied. He looked at the captain. "Captain. What should we do? He's not on the list." Whew, I'm saved.
"Forget the list Hadvar," The captain said stone faced, "He goes to the block." Damn. These Imperials are Assholes.
Hadvar sighed sounding disappointed. "By your orders Captain," He said reluctantly then turned to me, "I'm sorry. At least you'll die here, in your homeland. Follow the Captain, Kinsman." I nodded sighing acceptingly. She walked towards the block between the other prisoners. I followed her but stopped to stand between Ralof and Ulfric. I wondered what Sovngarde would be like. I wondered if I would be accepted. I looked to see a familiar face. Apparently the one called General Tullius decided to face his adversary man to man. I realized that he wasn't bald, he just had shiny hair.
"Ulfric Stormcloak," He said looking very pleased at the arrangements, "Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like the Voice to murder his King and usurp his throne." The Voice? What was that? I never heard of that before. Was it a form of Magic or something? Wait he murdered someone?
Ulfric tried to speak something but the cloth that was over his mouth forbade it.
"You started this war," Tullius said angrily, "plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to put you down and restore the peace." Tullius looked at him with hatred but Ulfric however, looked indifferent about the situation. I envied the man. He was looking at someone who was ordering his execution with no fear at all.
The conversation was cut short. A distant sound echoed off the mountains. It sounded like a roar of some kind of animal. It had everyone murmuring and looking to the skies. I had never heard something like that. I probably wouldn't remember hearing anything like that if I did have my memory.
"What was that?" Hadvar asked in wonderment.
"It's nothing," Tullius said shrugging it off, "Carry on." How do you just look the other way on something like that? Whatever that roar was, it was huge and angry sounding.
"Yes General Tullius," The captain said as he walked back towards the tower. She turned around towards a Priestess. She was probably of Arkay, the god of the cycle of Birth and Death.
"As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the Eight Divines upon you, for you are the salt and earth of Nirn, our beloved…."
She was cut off by a Stormcloak soldier. "For the love of Talos," He interrupted and walking towards the block, "shut up and let's get this over with." I always thought there were nine divines. Not eight. I explicitly knew there were nine.
"As you wish," The priestess said curtly.
He stood there staring at the block for a second as if expecting something. "Come on!" He demanded, "I haven't got all day." The captain pressed on his shoulder to make him sit on his knees and then pushed him forward with her boot to make him press his head against the block. He furthered his resentment of the Imperials. "My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?" The headsman raised his axe and was about to bring it down. I flinched with a mixture of shock, disgust, and hatred towards the executioner as he brought the axe down and the Stormcloak's head was cut clean off and it flopped in a basket. Blood squirted out ridiculously from where his head once attached to his neck and shoulder tendons.
"You Imperial Bastards!" I heard a female Stormcloak yell in disgust. Her voice wasn't the only one. I heard voices from the crowd of adults.
"Justice!" One spoke.
"Death to the Stormcloaks!" Another yelled.
I heard Ralof speak. "As fearless in death as he was in life."
"Next," The captain spoke loudly, "The Nord in the Rags!" I wondered who that was, there wasn't any other Nord's here with rags on. Wait. That was me. I looked down to see that I wore ragged clothes. I wondered.
I heard another distant roar, only this time it was closer. Everyone looked around at the skies again. When the echoes had faded, Hadvar voiced his concerns once more. "There it is again," He said, "Did you hear that?"
The captain ignored him and barked orders at me. "I said," She barked, "Next the Nord in those rags!"
I sighed and looked at the corpse of the Stormcloak. This was wrong, so very wrong. "You are a bitch," I muttered directing it towards the captain.
"To the block Prisoner," Hadvar said with a gentler approach, "Nice and easy." I obeyed, walking forward giving the captain a glare, gazing at the instrument of my impending death, and glanced at Hadvar. I stood at the block looking down at it. Adrenaline seemed to fill me once more as my heart hammered. It felt as if, if I wanted to, I could break out of these bonds and fist fight my way out of here. I felt the captain guide me down to my knees and then I leaned forward to look at my executioner.
He stared at the captain, axe in one hand like a cane. There was some movement behind him and the tower coming around from a nearby mountain. It was massive, black, had wings, and it was roaring. It disappeared behind the tower.
"What in Oblivion is that!?" Tullius uttered loudly. The headsman wasn't fazed because he didn't see the massive creature behind him. He started to raise his axe as the beast reappeared flying straight at us. He was about to bring it down.
"Sentries!" The captain said, "What do you see?" A big freaking monster behind you dumb bitch!
"It's in the clouds!" An Imperial soldier yelled. Suddenly it landed atop the tower shaking the ground and causing the Headsman to topple over. The executioner's axe landed right near me blade in the wooden portion of the chopping block. The Monster stared down at us as if knowing it caught us off guard.
"Dragon!" A Stormcloak woman yelled.
As if on cue, the Dragon reared its head up and then stretched its neck back out roaring only this time sending a wave of energy out that pushed back the nearby headsman who was trying to get up. Storm clouds originated from thin air as if they just appeared there. However instead of rain falling, flaming rock fell from the clouds. Brimstone and fire fell from the heavens as it bombarded Helgen.
"Don't just stand there!" Tullius demanded as the Dragon blasted out a concentrated wave of energy from its maw, "Kill it! Guards get the civilians to safety!" A soldier ran up with his sword looking at the dragon then back at me. I ended up toppling over off the block and landed face first on the ground. Helgen was thrown in complete chaos. Flaming rocks falling from a hurricane above, a dragon blasting the town to Oblivion, and all the guards attempting to kill the beast while giving everyone time to escape, yep it was just a wonderful day. What I wouldn't give to go back in time and tell my previous self to stay out of Skyrim.
"Roh….Dah!" I heard as Thunder clapped what felt and sounded like, right above me. There was another one. I just laid there as all the confusion was taking place. I didn't want to face the beast. I just wanted to remember what I couldn't. I closed my eyes. Maybe the beast will kill me. It was all over. I accepted my death already. Why hadn't it come?
"Hey Kinsman, get up!" I heard someone urge, "come on! The Gods won't give us another chance!" My motivation for living had returned. He helped me up and I stared around at the scene. Buildings were collapsing and caught up in a blazing inferno and the Dragon had taken flight around Helgen terrorizing the citizens and soldiers. This was Oblivion. I came to the realization that I didn't want to die here. "This way!" I came realize that the man who snapped me to my senses was Ralof. He ran towards a tower that had not yet fallen. I ran behind him. I could hear Imperial Soldiers and Archers bickering as they tried to kill the Dragon with arrows.
"Give it everything you've got!" One spoke.
"Shoot it down!" Another yelled.
"Gods," Another yelled, "Nothing kills the beast." The Dragon in response flew low and snapped him up in his jaws and slung him into the nearby house killing him instantly. The dragon did an impressive display of spinning in its flight to avoid colliding with the house.
When we got inside I took a minute catching my breath I didn't realize that I had lost. The tower was cylinder shaped with a flight of stairs traveling up to another floor. Stormcloak soldiers who were now freed were injured. A female Stormcloak was being tended to by another. Ulfric was unbound by his restraints and the cloth that was over his mouth was gone.
"Jarl Ulfric," Ralof asked him after catching his breath, "What was that thing? Could the legends be true?"
"Legends don't burn down villages." He replied huskily. The Dragon roared somewhere outside and the ground rumbled. "We need to move now!" Something impacted the tower.
I looked at the stairs. "Up through the tower," Ralof said, "Let's go!"
I heard the male Stormcloak tending to the woman say, "We have to carry this one out on our backs. They're hurt but they'll live. I'm a medic."
"Do you need help?" I asked. I forgot my hands were still bound.
"I'll get them out of here," The medic said, "Once the Dragon's gone that is. Now go."
I went to run up the stairs before Ralof did. A Stormcloak was attempting to move a few stone pieces that caved in on the stairs about halfway up the tower.
"We just need to move some of these rocks," he spoke up.
I was about to walk up to him when, to my right, a massive reptilian head smashed through the wall. The force caused debris of the wall crush the Stormcloak pinning him under the very stone rocks he was trying to get rid of. The Dragon brought his head out and I heard something familiar. A voice.
"Get back!" Ralof yelled as we both backed up.
"Help me!" The Stormcloak pleaded struggling to remove a boulder.
"Toor…..Shul!" As the last word was uttered, a huge blast of flames that moved faster than anything I've ever seen filled the hole and engulfed the entire area where the Stormcloak was. The heat was almost unbearable. When the Dragon was through with spitting out fire, I took a peek. It looked at me for a split second. It was latched on the side of the tower like a spider perched on a wall. Its red eyes stared back at me with an extreme amount of hatred. It pushed off the wall and continued flying around Helgen causing havoc. The charred remains of the Stormcloak who was caught in the fire was an unholy sight.
"There's an inn on the other side," Ralof spoke up pointing down at the inn, "Jump through the roof." I was definitely hesitant due to a dragon attempting to kill us all. "Go, we'll follow you when we can."
"Here it comes," a Stormcloak said. I looked up to see what he was speaking of. The Dragon had decided to arc around the destroyed tower near the block and was coming back towards us. I ran and jumped while Ulfric, Ralof and the other Stormcloak stumbled down the stairs. I fell through the air and went into a roll as I went through burning debris. My cloth pants were on fire as I came to a standing position. I kicked over a bucket of water and rolled in the water to put out the flames. I got up staggering and looked up at the tower. The Dragon had slammed into the tower once more looking inside. Apparently finding nothing he took off into flight again.
I walked towards the other end of the attic-like area I was in. The floor shuddered as the wing beats of the Dragon overhead was arcing over. It roared once more. I peered through another hole in the building to see the archers still attempting to take the Dragon down. They were failing of course. There were no stairs, so I jumped down through a hole and landed on the floor of the inn. "Over here!" I heard another familiar voice as I walked out the only exit that was not trashed. Imperials. I couldn't trust them anymore. They'd kill me after this is all over with. I was sure of it.
I saw Hadvar and an old man taking refuge behind the wreckage of a house. There was the boy from earlier trying to pull a man whose leg lay severed from his dying body. It was the boy who wanted to watch the soldiers and his father. I couldn't remember their names to save my life.
"Go little cub," The father said weakly, "Get to Hadvar."
"Daddy no!" The boy said still tugging on his father's arm.
"I'm sorry little cub," The father said, "But I won't be able to make it….Hadvar! Please come and get him!" Hadvar ran up and scooped up the boy. I saw the black dragon circle around coming in, to land. Hadvar bolted back with the boy in his arms
"Don't look up," He said to the boy as he ran, "Keep your eyes on me." The boy obeyed. "Atta boy. You're doing great." The dragon landed almost knocking Hadvar off his feet. The Dragon doused the land in flames. The flames were traveling fast, back towards us. Everyone took shelter behind the stone wall of a house to my right. I skidded and rolled ungracefully towards it as the hot flames rushed pass me. I had to settle trust issues with the empire later. Right now, I had to survive.
"Still alive Prisoner?" Hadvar spoke as the Dragon took off flying low towards the inn and arced over it. "Stick close to me if you want to live."
"No argument there," I muttered.
Hadvar turned to the old man who was with the kid. "Gumner take care of the boy. I have to rally with General Tullius and join the defense.
"Gods aid you Hadvar." The old man replied
So that was it. Hadvar and I started to run towards the only way that wasn't blocked by debris, where the dragon was moments ago. It arced around the tower above us going in the opposite direction as us. Hadvar seeing something I didn't, as we came up on an alley-like area that was between an Imperial wall and the back of a home, yelled, "Stay close to the wall!" I heard a roar and we jumped down into the alleyway.
"Keep your eyes on it," I heard an Imperial say. They were somewhere between the building we were behind and the one next to us up ahead. We were about to go up some stairs between the two houses on our right, however something huge stopped those thoughts. An Imperial was in front of the houses but between them. "General Tullius! Over this way!"
No sooner did he say it, a tremor had erupted originating right on the way we were up against I looked up to see the dragon perched right above us. It reared its head back and spoke. "Yol….Toor….Shuul!" As it spoke, the flames blasted out its maw engulfing everything between the houses. The soldier was sent flying into debris burning. A wooden stake impaled right where his heart was. When the Dragon was through breathing fire it lifted off to continue flying around Helgen.
"Quickly!" Hadvar said, "Follow me!" He took off towards a side entrance of the house to our left. We could still hear the soldiers who were combating the dragons.
"Keep firing!" I heard Tullius yelling, "Bring it down!" I could see them through holes of the destroyed building as we came in.
The Dragon swooped over the group of soldiers making them get low for a second. It picked up one in its hind claws and sent him flailing towards a mountain outside of the city. We continued through the house.
"Give me a hand we've got to get this stuff out of the way," An Imperial yelled, "Vlad's trapped under it all."
"Keep firing!" An Imperial yelled as the dragon doused a building in flames.
"It's too late for that," I heard who I guess was Vlad speaking, "Save yourself. You'll die trying to get me out. Tell my family I love them…."
By the time I got to the exit of the destroyed home, I saw archers and from what I could tell, mages firing up at the Dragon as it teased their efforts. The mages were literally throwing fire and lightning out at it. There was even the Thalmor Elf with white armor on throwing ice spells at it.
"What does it take to kill this monster?" A female mage demanded as she threw a bolt of lightning up at the Dragon who just spun to avoid it.
"Hadvar," Tullius said as he rushed to Tullius, "Get out of here. Into that keep over there. We're volunteers to cover the escape of anyone else."
"Yes sir," Hadvar replied as the archers and mages launched another volley at the Dragon, "Come on Prisoner. It's just you and me."
I stumbled over some debris. "Run you idiot," An imperial said, "Are you trying to get killed?" I ran towards a large building with Hadvar. The Dragon landed on the ground near some debris speaking some kind of language. It unleashed fire right at an archer nearby. I ducked out the way as the archer fell to the ground burning alive. The dragon took off again, and so did I. Before I continued I heard someone yell.
"It's Ulfric Stormcloak!" I turned back to see the elf looking at Ulfric who was running through the debris where Hadvar had once been when saving the young kid. The Elf started to run at Ulfric and a few stormcloak's. She launched a spike of ice at them as she ran, impaling one of the Stormcloak's. She jumped over some burning debris blasting ice at the fire to dampen it down only for the man to turn and yell something I couldn't hear over the roaring dragon. Whatever happened, some kind of force made the elf fly back to General Tullius and his volunteers. Ulfric ran into a burning building near a crumbling city wall that, as soon as Ulfric entered, was pelted by a falling burning rock.
I shook off that event and continued running towards a mostly intact building on the other side of an arch. The dragon flew over at the area I was just at and doused in flames once more killing another archer. It arced around once again as we ran towards where it had suddenly to hover above a large door of the building. There were archers based on a wall still launching a volley at it. A saw a familiar face. It was Ralof. He came from vaulting over part of the fallen wall alongside several Stormcloaks as the Dragon had sprayed flames over it killing the archers atop the wall.
"Ralof you damned traitor," Hadvar spat out venomously.
"Out of our way Hadvar," he said as a Stormcloak rushed through a smaller door than the one Hadvar wanted to take. One of the Stormcloak's was bleeding ridiculously as he held his hand on the wound in his leg. "We're going to escape."
"Fine," Hadvar yelled back, "I hope that Dragon takes you all to Sovngarde!" The Dragon flew around the wall and came back to pick up an archer who was running across the wall and flung him up in the air. The corpse landed on a pile of rocks nearby.
"Kinsman come on," Ralof said running towards the door, "Into the Keep."
"With me prisoner," Hadvar countered as he ran towards the door he wanted to. Prisoner. That was the deciding factor of who I'd trust. The Imperials were still referring me as a prisoner, not an equal. The Stormcloaks thought of me as a person, not a title. I don't know why, but something told me to do the most illogical thing. Go with the Imperial. I wasn't sure why. I had to clear my name. I was not an outlaw. There was no way. I went with Hadvar.
Going into the barracks, Hadvar closed the door behind us. "Looks like we're the only ones who made it," He said breathing hard, "Was that really a dragon? The bringers of the End times?"
"It sure as hell looked like it…" I spoke, "But what do I know. I can't even remember my damn name."
"I don't know what to do about that," Hadvar said pulling out a dagger of some sort. My heart quickened for a moment. "Here." He cut my bindings. "There. Look I know things looked bad when you were about to be executed, but with Ulfric Stormcloak and some of his Elites captured, the Empire couldn't afford to take chances in case you tried to rally against us in the future."
I grunted. "Can't say I blame them," I replied, "If the man's a rebellion leader."
"Are you good in a fight?"
"We'll find out," I replied.
"Very well then," Hadvar spoke, "Why don't you look around, get some armor on and whatever weapon you want. I've got to find some bandages for this wound."
There was some Imperial light armor which I found in a chest. I slipped it on before looking at a sword. I grabbed one, and another for good measure. For some reason, a sword felt amazing in my hand. Hadvar sighed wrapping his forearm up. "You ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," I replied.
"Good," Hadvar said, "Now I'm not going to lie to you, we'll most likely come across the Stormcloaks. Do you have it in you to kill them if necessary."
"Survival is all I want," I replied shrugging, "If they attack, then I'll kill them or die trying." Hadvar gave me a look as if he didn't understand something. But he nodded letting whatever was on his mind go. He opened the barred door before we moved on.
There was labored breathing as we came up. "Hang on," A woman said, "I'm out of breath."
"There's no time," Another said, "The Imperials will find us if we don't move out quickly." I looked through the gate. There were two Stormcloaks. One of them spotted me. "Imperials!"
"Get ready Kinsman!" Hadvar said to me. I nodded as Hadvar pulled the chain. I pulled out a sword looking at the two. Both of them had Warhammers! I immediately came up with a strategy that seemed to come out of nowhere. It's like muscle memory. One of them swung down at me. I stepped back as the hammer hit the ground with a loud impact. I stabbed forward killing the Stormcloak. Hadvar immediately stabbed up into the abdomen of the surprised woman. "Not bad." He said to me.
I merely nodded as we walked through the iron bar door on the other side. It looked like the Stormcloaks had smashed the lock to pieces. We followed the flight of stairs only for a Cave in to occur followed by a Dragon's roar.
"Doesn't that thing have something better to be doing?" I huffed.
"It doesn't give up easily," Hadvar spoke with annoyance, "Come on, in here."
"There's a lot of potions that the Imperials have stored in here," I heard the sounds of fellow Nords inside.
"Stormcloaks," Hadvar whispered as he slowly opened the door. They were preoccupied with looking in barrels for those potions. Hadvar held his finger up to his mouth. I understood immediately. Silent killing. I nodded. We crept up behind them, grabbed them and slit their throats. Brutal, but necessary. I watched as the men died in their own blood. I immediately looted any nearby potions that were in the immediate open before we continued on.
There was a battle going on in the room we came up on. Someone was blasting Stormcloaks with lightning. It arced all around the room before killing the stormcloak. There was one more Imperial in as well. I realized what this was. A torture room. "Finally some reinforcements," The torturer spoke, "We were about to be overrun. More of those Rebels made it passed us. It's a shame. Their comrades didn't like what was going on."
"Do you have any idea what's going on?" Hadvar demanded.
"A Stormcloak attack?"
"No," I said, "A Dragon is attacking."
"That's preposterous," The torturer spoke, "But then again, there have been some ungodly roars."
"No shit," I commented.
"Come with us," Hadvar said, "We're getting out of here."
"I'm afraid I can't," The torturer spoke, "I still have work to do."
"There's nothing left topside!" Hadvar argued.
"Forget sitting around here," The Torturer's assistant said, "I'll come with you." I huffed spying a Knapsack. I picked it up briefly looking in it. There were a few lockpicks, a book, and some gold.
"That is mine," The torturer said.
"Mine now," I replied looking at the man with annoyance, "I'll be needing it more." He looked angry, but I shrugged it off.
"Come on kinsman," Hadvar spoke, "We don't have time for this."
"Fine," I replied shrugging and picking up a shield. We walked down the back passage where there were a lot more cells. "I guess this is the regular jailhouse?"
"Pretty much." Hadvar said.
"Wait!" I heard someone say as we passed by a cell. It was a woman in rags. She was an Imperial with dark brown hair and green eyes. She looked too beautiful to be a prisoner, if that was possible. "Please, you have to let me out of here!" I stopped.
"There's no time kinsman," Hadvar said growling.
"Hold on my friend," I said stopping his argument. The woman looked distressed.
"Give me a moment," I said taking out a lockpick. "Before I let you out, why are you in here?"
"What?" She asked looking at me in disbelief, "Why does it matter!? You can't leave me here with that dragon about!" Why was I even speaking to her? She was a prisoner. But then again…so was I.
"That Dragon's above ground," I said looking around, "I'm pretty sure you'll be safe here until more Imperials arrive….if they arrive."
"You evil little…."
"All I want is an explanation."
She just stared. I could see something in her eyes. It was as if something was telling me she was going to lie. "Fine," She said, "If you must know, I was imprisoned here because I stole food from the Inn here in town."
"Why!?" She asked, "I was starving! What was I supposed to do? Starve to death?" My initial thoughts were that she was lying. Until guilt came across. What if she wasn't? What if she was? I huffed. I played around with the lock before it clicked.
I opened up the cell door. "There, now come on….what's your name?"
"Caroline," She replied, "You two keep going, I'll catch up. I've got to get my things. Thank you a thousand times!"
"No problem," I said nodding before heading off with Hadvar.
Once again, we came across another room. There was a Dunmer who was in one of the cages that held humans. He was unconscious though. "Kinsman!" Hadvar said as soon as he realized what I was doing. "there's a reason people are in here…don't go letting loose every prisoner you see. Some of the ones in here were criminals, big criminals as in mass murderers and rapists."
"Leaving them to die in here's not an option," I spoke unlatching the cage after picking the lock. I quickly caught the Dunmer's body as he slumped over. "At least if they're free, they'll have a fighting chance, even with a dragon about."
We walked through a destroyed section of the wall, "You…." He started but stopped. He asked anyway, "You were going to let the woman go anyways weren't you?"
"Yeah," I replied nodding as I put the Dunmer leaning against the wall. He moaned as if he had been involved in something terrible. He probably had been on a few receiving ends of that torturer's lightning spells. "I know the difference between right and wrong Hadvar. Saving a few people like that Caroline and this Dunmer might make them change their ways if things got as bad as you're thinking."
"Fine," Hadvar said, "But we can't afford to make any more pit stops. It's already cost us a lot of time." I nodded not saying anything else. I saw the bare glimpse of the Dunmer's red eyes as he groggily looked at me before closing them again.
"Thanks…." He muttered.
"When you're well enough," I said to him, "come out this way." He nodded before his head fell back unconscious again.
Hadvar and I met up with the torturer's assistant who was leaning against the tunnel wall. "Stormcloaks," He muttered. Taking two Stormcloaks and an archer was an easy task for us. We managed to kill them rather easily as they had all been wounded in the Dragon attack. There had been a few dead from both Stormcloak's and the Imperial Legion.
Continuing however was uneventful save a few Frostbite spiders and us sneaking around a bear. It was just me and Hadvar then. When we exited the cave, I let out a big sigh of relief. Then I heard the wingbeats.
"Wait!" Hadvar urged me. He got down low near a boulder under a tree. I followed. I watched as the Dragon flew over us and towards a mountain before ascending into the clouds. "Looks like he's gone for good this time. But I don't think we should be sticking around here to see if he comes back."
"Agreed," I replied.
"The closest town from here is Riverwood," Hadvar continued, "My uncle's the blacksmith there. I'm sure he'll help us out. Right now, as unlikely as it sounds, if the rebels have unleashed that Dragon, General Tullius is the only one who can stop it."
"I doubt the Rebels knew of the Dragon," I spoke as we started down the path, "They were just as shocked as we were to see that Dragon."
"Maybe so," Hadvar spoke, "We need to get to Riverwood in case there are Stormcloaks skulking around out here. I didn't see the body of Ulfric Stormcloak anywhere, so I'm guessing he made it out. "
"That traitor is probably with him."
If there was one thing I was about to learn, it was that something big was coming. I looked back towards Helgen. The smoke and flames were burning the settlement. You could see the smoke high in the sky like an evil omen. The War, the dragon, all of that was inevitable; If only I knew how much crap I'd be getting myself into for this Province…..