Title: Regrets

Warnings: Violence, Angst, Gore, Suggestive Themes

Pairings: None though Morihaus is mentioned as well as Pelinal Whitestrake.

Summary: Alessia contemplates on her decision and the repercussions of her actions as she looks upon her future subjects and begins to wonder if she has done the right thing as she tries to push away her despair.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the games of the Elder Scrolls or anything else. It is to be credited to its creators and I do not own a thing of this other than the plot or any characters of my own added into the story.

Authoress' Note: Just a random thing I came up with in my head as I sat around and played on Oblivion for a while. I then began to wonder of Alessia, who would become the first Empress of Cyrodiil and of her thoughts upon rising up against the Ayleids. I also suppose this would be more of Oblivion fiction, since it's the first time you really hear about the legends of Alessia, Morihaus, and Pelinal, so I'll go with that. It might not be the best story but eh, at least I tried.

The Nedic woman's eyes scanned the horizon, anticipating the dreadful climax of the war as her dark eyes landed upon the spire that was White Gold Tower, the center and heart of the Wild Elves' empire. She shuddered upon thinking of the bloodshed to come and off handedly wiped away the smeared crimson on her cheeks and chin as she raised an equally stained hand to her pale face. Her brow furrowed as she felt the substance smear ever more across her features, turning the pale beauty she was into a horrid mockery of its former self as she shut her eyes. She attempted to block out each painful image as faces came into view. Faces of men…faces of the elves she had slain with the blade at her side. So many faces, she thought silently to herself as she forced her eyes to open and look upon the bright shining pinnacle that was the heart of the Empire.

She could her Morihaus' booming voice echo over the clamor of her troops and their encampment as she stood upon the hilltop, her mind elsewhere as the young and former slave turned to assess her men. Their red faces gleamed back. The dark haired woman shut her eyes to block out the glimmer of crimson that threatened to overwhelm her as she bit back bile in her throat. Never before had she felt so helpless till now. Never before had she questioned the gods and their motives, but now she had to stop and wonder if what she was doing was truly right. If they failed, she would only be putting these people…her people…into a much more precarious situation. She once again shivered at the thought of what the Ayleids would do to them if they caught them during the battle and decimated them to dwindling numbers. She could imagine each man's face being grinded to a bloody pulp in the flesh racks of Vindasel or being taken to Sercen to have their guts strung up like chattel to the amusement of the Wild Elves and to the horror of others. Her eyes once more focused on each man's face, discerning through the blood and grime the light in their own. She wanted to curse herself at that moment. She had given them such high hopes and if she did not succeed in the taking of White Gold, it would not only crush them but break their very spirits. What if they were unable to defeat the Ayleids, their former masters?

She hated to think of the fate that befall all of these hopeful men if her rebellion failed and she knew deep down that each one would curse her for it if they did not succeed. Her thoughts were then torn from her agonizing musings as she heard Morihaus' sweet voice reach her, the deep timbre echoing out across the plains as she heard the soft crunching of his boots hit the dirt and grass. She didn't even have to turn to see that he had confusion and worry stretching over his face. She could only imagine the pained and terrible look in his grey-blue eyes. She swallowed, unsure of what to say. It seemed like an eternity; neither of them willing to speak or unable to. Just as she was about to open her mouth, Morihaus interrupted her, raising his hand to ask for her silence which she freely gave. "My love…I know that you do not look forward to any of this…" The Nedic woman could feel tears beginning to form behind her eyes as she looked at him for a few more seconds before turning away and sighing, her dark brown eyes landing on the shining spire of White Gold Tower, it's brilliance nearly blinding her as she sighed. "I know Morihaus…I know. But I cannot help but think that I am leading these men to their doom. Or yours. You could very well die in this battle just as any other man, as could Pelinal." As if the knight's name had sparked a memory, she turned and could pick out his tall form easily in the crowd of men that made up her and Morihaus' camp.

He was wearing his helmet, the wings on the sides glinting harshly in the sunlight and causing the area around him to nearly glitter. Even though she could not make out his eyes through the visor or see his face, she knew that the man most likely wore his usual scowl, his brows probably knotted into a dip furrow and his lips drawn into a harsh thin line as he looked from left to right, making sure that the preparations for the upcoming battle were being properly taken care of. She had to smile at the scene. Despite his awkward and rather violent personality, Pelinal had proven to be a worthwhile companion, nearly as much as Morihaus. He had been found a little more than a year ago, bloodstained and crazed. He had wandered into camp in a near state of delirium covered in blood, which she and Morihaus had later discovered as the blood of many Ayleidoon that the man had slain in order to escape from being captured and tortured by them. She had to admire him for that. He was willing to face life and death, risk bodily injury for her cause and she could not help but thank Akatosh that he had sent Pelinal to her in a great time of need. As she watched his helm twinkle in the sunlight for a few more seconds she then turned back to Morihaus and sighed, her brow deepening as she did so. She could see her lover stare at her for a long moment, his eyes seeming to radiate with that ever constant fire that she so loved.

She could tell that he was worried…for her, their people. How could she really explain to him all the incessant thoughts she had been feeling as of late. They never stopped. Never halted. The dreams of agony and pain she had seen seemed to constantly torment her to no end and she wished that she desperately could tell him of her troubles, but she decided against it. It was better to suffer it alone than to let him fall into it as well. She was torn from her musings as she heard his voice reach her, his deep timbre bringing with it a bit of peace though not enough for her liking as she fully face him, her dark brown eyes staring into his icy ones as her brows raised, her attention now fully diverted to him. "My love…as I have said I know this is hard. If you wish I can lead the forces. You needn't have to do this." The dark haired woman merely smiled and her teeth sparkled in the harsh sunlight as her gaze softened. "Morihaus…don't worry about it. I plan on leading us to victory this day and nothing can stop us." She inwardly flinched. She as only making it worse in her opinion. She was giving all of these men so much hope. So much damned hope. It only made her shudder as she had the image of herself failing them in battle. She did not want to think what would happen to them if the Wild Elves managed to capture them within the very heart of their empire. She let her mind wander for some time before she felt Morihaus nod and walk away, his heavy footsteps pounding at the earth and his armor clinking. She knew that he understood her anxiety, her fear.

And with that in mind, it comforted her to know that he cared so deeply and understood her as she looked out over her camp, turning her gaze from White Gold Tower. She could see that Pelinal was getting the troops into formation, readying them for the siege that was soon to come. Their armor gleamed in the light, much like her own, as they moved in unison with one another, each man lining up side by side and with their weapons held in a firm grip. She could see that Pelinal had mounted his white stallion, standing ahead of each formation alongside Morihaus who was barking out a few curt orders to get the rest of the men into line and keep order. She could see that many of their faces were still covered in gore from the earlier battles they had fought and the skirmishes they had won. Many had not even bothered to wash it away for the excitement of the next upcoming battle and that this would be the final deciding factor in the long war with their former masters. The Nedic woman could only smile at it as she felt a sudden surge of courage upon seeing her troops. She quickly looked back towards White Gold Tower as she heard the men's voices rise in the air, soon turning into a chant towards the gods to help in the upcoming battle as the spire sparkled, drawing her dark gaze to it like a moth to a flame.

She was not sure if it was from seeing her men, hope brimming from their eyes, or from the gods themselves as she heard the chant begin to grow in number and volume. But now, more than ever, she wanted to win. She wanted to win this battle not for herself, but for her people. She had filled them with far too much hope and promise to turn back on them now and it made her heart soar as she thought at the prospect of winning. Even if they failed in the taking of the White Gold Tower, they would still win in her eyes. They would show the Ayleidoon that they were not to be trifled with and that it was from the very action of trying to break away from their servitude that they had won. Won their own freedom and the ability to die like men, as all should. A tear rolled down her cheek as her thoughts were consumed by hope and as she heard the chant grow ever louder and a war horn sound. She smiled. They would win, that much she knew. The gods were with them and with that in mind, she swiftly turned on her heel and walked down the embankment. She would lead her troops and join her men. And they would win. Win and drive the Ayleidoon from their sparkling cities. As she soon stepped into formation at the head of the line, standing in between Pelinal and Morihaus, she felt guilt try to once more gnaw away at her but she shoved it aside. Now was not the time for regrets. This was a time to shine and as she felt the last dreg of despair leave her, she lifted her voice and cried. Other cries soon followed as they began to march towards victory. They would win and then…perhaps then her despair would mingle with her hope and set her free.

She smiled as another tear escaped her defenses and rolled from her eye at that thought.