oh deary me, I'm such a spaz... Well Imma try to not just follow directly the story line, cuz who wants to read the game all over again... So expect stuff to change here and there. Mostly just the time line in how quickly stuff happens will be slowed down quite a bit in the beginning. Well Skyrim belongs to Bethesda yada yada, enjoy and review 8D
Footprints in the Snow
CHAPTER 1: THE HEALER
The three men in the small wagon sat watching the passing scenery, lost in their own thoughts. Two in heavy chain and leather armor and the other dressed in tattered rags. His eyes scanned around panicked and worried while the two others simply just glared off in their own directions. Ralof, a blonde Nord, took another glance down at their unconscious captive-mate. He tilted his head slightly envious of the sleeping imperial, at least she wouldn't be awake to know the horror to come her way.
The red head wouldn't know what hit her. Huffing lightly he returned to gazing ahead, watching the carts moving forward down the narrow road. The wheels of the wagon hit a hole, jarring the occupants and driver enough to send them bouncing in their seats. With the bump the woman rolled from her seat into the middle of the cart, landing with a thump and grunt. Ralof leaned down attempting his best at righting the befuddled woman.
She sat back down in her seat, looking to her bound hands and tugging as roughly as she could on the leather strips. Giving her a pitying stare, Ralof spoke. "So, you're finally awake..." He whispered as lightly as his strained voice would allow.
"What happened..." Her wide eyes scanned the passing mountain side, not understanding how or why she was here.
"You were caught trying to cross the border." A look of mild understanding passed over her face as she gave up trying to find a way to escape.
"We shouldn't be here!" The man in rags shouted for the umpteenth time at the guard driving the wagon. Ralof sighed becoming annoyed with the other Nord; he should at least face his fate with dignity.
"What is your name Imperial."
"Marina..." She whispered sinking back into the wood, there was no way she could just jump the side and run off into the mountains.
"It isn't us that the empire wants, it's these Stormcloaks!"
Sighing Ralof looked to the horse thief again. "We're all brothers and sisters in binds now, thief." The driver shouted for the three 'criminals' to keep quiet, but they didn't let his order deviate them in their conversation.
Glaring at the silent man in the cart, Lokir turned his nose up at him. "And what's wrong with him?"
Ralof instantly jumped the other man, clearly insulted for his lack of respect toward his silenced partner. "Watch your tongue! You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak. The true high king!"
"Ulfric?" The mans eyes narrowed in confusion. "The Jarl of Windhelm? You're the leader of the rebellion." Disbelief crossed his face before he paled under the dirt covering his face. "But if they've captured you... Oh gods, where are they taking us!" The now hysterical man looked about ready to take his chances and run into the forest.
"I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits."
"But I haven't done anything." Marina began to panic as badly as Lokir. "I don't want to go to jail, and I'm not ready to die!" She squeaked. The other man shook his head and rambled off to himself a fortified city coming into view just down the hill. Ralof began talking to him and Marina, attempting to calm them down if only a small margarine. They all tried to ignore the guards ahead, and the voice of General Tullius as they neared closer by the second to their final moments of life.
Lokir began screaming out the names of the Divines, praying that they would hear and save him. Ralof scoffed as they entered the gates to the city glaring at the small grouping of men watching them. He suddenly began going down memory lane, and revealed their location, Helgen.
Behind her Marina could hear a child talking. "Who are they daddy?" He had asked as she turned around. The boys father, much to the child's dismay, quickly sent him inside. The man knew what was going to happen, and it wasn't something an innocent child should see.
"Get these prisoners out of the carts! Move it!" A woman shouted demanding that her orders be carried out as soon as they left her lips.
"Why are we stopping!" Lokir jumped around in his seat, looking around everywhere at once.
"Why do you think? End of the line..." Ralof sighed shaking his head. His blonde hair fell into his face, but he quickly straightened himself out. He would face death like a true warrior and not cower like the man beside him. He and Ulfric locked eyes for a second, and looked away from one another. This was it, and they were ready.
"But they can't... they wouldn't..."
He turned to Marina again. "I'm sorry that you must share our fate." Clearing his throat he spoke again. "Let's go, shouldn't keep the guards waiting."
"No, wait! We're not rebels!" Lokir shouted again as the four stood. He backed into Marina and shoved her into Ralof.
"Out of the cart now prisoner!" The woman from before screamed, hand resting on the hilt of her sword.
"Face your death with some courage thief." Ralof helped Marina out of the sandwitch between himself and Lokir. Ulfric looked over his shoulder watching as horse thief finally made his way to the ground. He glared up at Marina as she used his shoulder to help herself down. He moved to the side, sending the woman to the ground.
"Stand!" The woman shouted. Marina glared up at her through her tangled hair, and attempted righting herself. With a loud plop Ralof landed beside her, bending down pulling her to her feet.
"Thanks..." She whispered, trying not to shake in anger and fear. Lokir continued to ramble off to the men, trying to get them to vouch for his and Marina's innocence. His pleas were ignored as the Captain once again barked out another order.
"Empire loves their damned lists..." Ralof said releasing Marina's arm. Ulfric's name was called, then Ralof's and just after Lokir's.
"No, I'm not a rebel. You can't do this!" He bolted, ready to take his chances and run.
"HALT!" She ordered the fleeing captive. "Archers!"
"No don't!" Marina called, but her cry was ignored. The archer's arrow flew from his bow, speeding through the air until it was stopped by the flesh of the fleeing man. Marina's bound hands flew up to her mouth as she gasp. She wanted to go over and see if she could do anything, but she would only end up in the same position as Lokir.
"Anyone else feel like running!" The Captain growled out, glaring straight at the frightened Marina.
The red head backed up a step, fear setting in of the woman and her fate. "Wait, you there... Step forward." Blinking back a fresh set of tears, she looked at the much kinder guard. Taking a few slow steps she stood a few feet away from the man, and the trigger happy female. "Who... are you?" He was clearly confused, not expecting to see the strange young woman before him.
"M-Marina... of Bruma..." She gulped hoping that the man would let her go. She didn't belong here.
"You're a long way from Cyrodiil, Imperial. Captian, what should we do? She's not on the list." Marina's face lit up, he might just let her go.
Her hopes came crashing down. "Forget the list. She goes to the block!" The Captain turned on her heel heading toward the gathering of captives and guards.
"I'm sorry, we will make sure your remains are returned to Cyrodiil." He pointed with the feather in his hand. "Follow the Captain prisoner."
It only took once for the woman to look back at Marina, hand gradually migrating to her sword for her to follow behind her. The General Tullius was talking to Jarl Ulfric as she walked up. He held clear aversion for the other male. It wouldn't surprise Marina if Tullius would run the bound and gagged man through, but it was something she didn't want to see.
Then it went silent, until a cry broke out echoing down the mountain. Everyone looked around, not sure where or what had made the call. The Guards didn't let that stop what they had planned for the Stormcloaks. They had Ulfric right in their grasp and nothing was going to get between them and ending the war. The priestess soon began reading the captured men and woman's rights before their fates were met.
Marina stared up at the giant of a Nord. His massive ax glistened in the dim sunlight, just waiting for flesh to carve through. She hoped the prayers would continue for just a little bit longer, but they were cut short by an impatient male. He didn't feel like waiting for the inevitable to happen. He stood before the block, glaring at the executioner. "My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same!" He was then pushed down to the ground on his knees, and kicked down onto the stone laying his neck out for the ax. The executioner drew his weapon back, holding it high above his head he brought it down on the solders neck. It sliced through like a hot knife through butter, severing the mans head from his body. The captain kicked the limp and bleeding body over thoughtlessly, and called for the next to be killed.
Marina gave another cry shaking her head and covering her eyes. Ralof close beside her wanted to do something to calm her nerves, but there was nothing that he could do. She looked like she was ready to fall over dead of her own accord, no execution necessary. The blood all drained from her face at the site of the still bleeding corpse. The shouts from both sides were drown out and distorted.
"Next the renegade from Cyrodiil!" The captain shouted pointing her finger at Marina. The young woman hadn't realized that she was next in line to lose her head. She stood still, her knees locked in place and unwilling to move an inch. Another cry rang out from the mountains, it broke her out of her stooper as she looked around. "I said next prisoner!"
Marina looked over at Ralof, silently pleading him to do something. He just shook his head, and nodded it toward the waiting executioner. Her heart jumped down into her feet, and she felt chilled to her very core. This is it... this is what I get for running away... She passed the corpse of the fallen man, and looked at the head still laying in the basket. She didn't have time to say anything before she was pushed to her knees and a boot in her back forcing her down. She felt the wet and sticky blood of the other man beginning to cake onto her cheek.
Over the executioner's shoulder she saw something gigantic fly by. It was gone for a moment as someone shouted as to what he had just seen. She saw the ax raise up high, but the site behind it instilled more terror than the weapon. The form few up over a tower, landing down sending a shower of broken stone to the ground. It locked eyes with Marina for just a fraction of a second before it opened its massive maw.
"Dragon!" Someone screamed in terror.
The dragon released a blast of sound from deep within it's throat knocking everyone over. People shouted and screamed as the sky changed color. Marina's vision began to warp in her terror she couldn't figure out what to do. It took several seconds before she could even remember how to stand. "Get up! The gods won't give us another chance!" An unbound Ralof shouted over the screams of people and blasts of fire. Marina looked to him as he continued to pull her away from the block and toward temporary safety.
The two ducked and dodged the short way from the fireballs and falling stone. He lead her inside a small tower, letting her fall down to the stone steps to catch her breath. She could just make out the man talking to Ulfric behind her, but their conversation seemed of another language all together. She didn't come back to reality until a gentle, but slightly forceful, hand touched her shoulder. "Let's go up through the tower, before it crashes down on us."
She stood on her own, finally coming back to her senses, self preservation kicking in. She ran up the stairs ahead of the men, only to be yanked back as a black dragon head crashed through the side. "Toor... Shul!" The dragon belched flames hot enough to begin melting stone, and catching the wood inside the tower on fire.
Ralof took a breath and looked through the giant gap in the wall and down at the burning building below. "See the inn on the other side! Jump through the roof, and keep going!" He ordered.
"A-alright." Taking a breath Marina backed up and vaulted herself from the roof. She landed and fell to her side, she winced in pain but it was soon forgotten as she got to her feet. She rushed to the steps and out of the building as it continued to be devoured in flames. The other side she was met with the guards, and the dragon as he landed several yards away. The kind guard that Marina had seen before ordered for everyone to get back as the dragon once again breathed his flames.
"Still alive, prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way." He then ordered the other guard to protect the small child before he took off down the burning streets with Marina in tow. He stopped suddenly. "Keep close to the wall!" He yelled to the woman behind him. She nearly fell to the ground as the dragon landed above her. She clenched her eyes closed as the heat from the fire of the dragon seared everything in front of it. The smells of burning flesh entered her nose making her sick.
"Can I do nothing..." She cried as the dragons shadow passed over her and Hadvar. The two ran on again, trying to get to the rest of the scattered solders.
"Ralof, you damned traitor! Out of my way!"
Ralof skid to a stop holding an ax in hand. "We're escaping, Hadvar. You're not stopping us this time!" The Stormcloak growled squaring his shoulders.
At the moment Hadvar didn't seem to care whether or not he personally killed Ralof. "Fine. I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde!"
"Marina, come on into the keep!" Ralof shouted leaving his foe behind to his own fate.