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18+ The Path to 'In the name of Aetherius'

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by Specter of Death, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2012
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    Prelude to the Roleplay
    In the Name of Aetherius
    Written by: @Specter of Death


    This is the official prelude to my Roleplay Story and Adventure "In the Name of Aetherius"
    [Click here for that Story]

    This short set of Diary Entries encapsulates the journey of my character Lilium Lancif, an Aspiring Master Mage and Apprentice at the College of Winterhold

    Taking place in the year and months before the adventure, the aim of this prelude is to develop some depth and relationships with Lilium, and more importantly develop the theme and state of Skyrim in our roleplay setting.

    My hope is that the short story that follows gives some valuable information and context into the world my story's writers are going to be delving into, along with some insight into the type of person and leader Lilium might be and might become when shaped by this story.

    Thank you for Reading!
    #1 Specter of Death, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  2. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2012
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    Fredas, the seventh of Last Seed, the year two hundred and two of the fourth era.
    Somewhere in the south of Skyrim

    The ride up here was rather uncomfortable, considering the unsettling terrain. I’ve never ridden in a carriage that long, or in weather as foul as this. The carriage driver, Hrorrik, was a stern yet talkative man. He talked more than I, and didn’t seem keen on listening to anything but his own voice. He almost drowned out the hiss of snow filled wind with every word he spoke. Told me quite a bit about his family and mainly his daughter, a 'very successful merchant in the Imperial City,' and considering my circumstances, that part of the conversation wasn’t pleasant. Thankfully he didn’t dwell too much on her being in the city itself, but rather all 'pigs' she would bring home to him and his wife. 'None of them are good enough for my Illia,' is more than enough of a summary of that. I eventually fell asleep for what I can only guess was about 45 minutes, but when I woke up he was silent. I hate to say it, but it was rather nice to listen to nothing again.

    He was quiet all the way up to the border crossing, but when we got to the partially fortified part of road, he began to turn his carriage around almost as soon as I got out. I was confused and he made it very clear that he had no intention of venturing into the actual territory of Skyrim, and that I only paid him enough to get me to the border itself.


    “I’m sorry, lass, but there isn’t any amount of septims you could give me to take you down there,” he started, before looking back on his seat as he trotted off back the way they came, “not worth running into those Rebels!”

    His words sat at the forefront of her thoughts as she watched the wooden transport disappear over the top of the hill. Rebels? She had never felt more confused in that moment, and as she turned back to the North, a vague swaying light slowly approached through the slowly darkening snow that surrounded her. She squinted at the source of the glow, barely making out the dark silhouette of a man. As he drew nearer, his form became more and more focused, as did the torch which flame’s seemed to be just as cold as she was.

    “Hello? A-are you a rebel?” she started, trying her best not to shiver as she spoke, “I’m just a scholar trying to get to Winterhold, please, can you tell me who you are?”

    The form coughed harshly as it’s steps grew louder and louder with every labored trudge that each leg made. It sounded like a man, and a big man. One that she definitely wouldn’t win a fight with, if he did end up meaning her harm. He stopped in front of her, lighting up both his form and her own. Unlike her thin fur lined jacket, he was wearing a thick fur coat, along with thick leggings. She could finally begin to make out a face underneath a thick fur hood as his voice spoke to her just as loud as she presented herself. “I’m no rebel girl, I’m the border watchman!”

    “Oh,” Lilium said with a relieved sigh, “I’m sorry if I offended you, the carriage driver said something about rebels and the road being dangerous because of them.”

    “Hrorrik’s a fool girl, no rebel would be caught dead this far south,” the man said in between exhausted breaths, standing right in front of her, “what in Talos’ name are you doing out in weather like this alone, girl? At this time of night as well?”

    “I, um,” she looked backwards, secretly hoping the carriage that once seemed so warm sat waiting at the top of the hill behind her, “he just dropped me off.”

    “That’s Hrorrik for you, bloody coward he is. Didn't even show you where to find shelter,” the man said, gently placing a guiding hand on her shoulder, “let’s get inside before I freeze my arse off.”

    He kindly led her inside of the small stone structure, that arched over the road with an open, bridge-like top. There wasn’t much inside of the part of it’s structure they found themselves in. A small fireplace sat underneath stone stairs that led up to the overlooking arch. A small table with 2 chairs sat placed on the same wall as the door they entered from, and near the hearth of the flame sat 2 large, fur bed rolls. Lilium hadn’t noticed how violently her body had been shaking, or how cold she was until her eyes landed on the dancing flame that was ahead of her.

    “You should sit by the fire, lass, you’re shivering like you haven’t seen warmth for a week,” the man said gruffly. He parked himself on the chair in the corner, and pulled himself close to the table, setting the torch into the sconce just above it. “I’m Lorn, by the way. Member of the Legion, so don’t you worry about any rebels.”

    Lilium could do nothing but nod and quickly walk herself to sit right next to the hot flame. Her body stopped shivering, and she felt herself grow more comfortable in short time. She pulled the hood off of her head finally, revealing her short dirty-blonde hair and looking in the direction of Lorn, “I’m Lilium. Sorry for being so… So rude.”

    Lorn looked at her for a second before a grin grew across his face, “not rude at all, just frightened. And rightfully so for your first time in one of Skyrim’s blizzards. Help yourself to whatever is stewing inside the pot, there. I’m sure you’re hungry after the trip from wherever you traveled here from.”

    Lilium nodded, surprised at the man’s brief words. She chalked it up to listening to Hrorrik’s rambling the entire trip. She stood herself up, and grabbed a clean bowl from the floor near the pot, and hastily put it into the hot stew to fill it. She put the bowl to her lips and took the chunk filled liquid slowly into her mouth until it was full. She gulped it down hungrily, and felt a pang of relief fill her body as the heat it had, carried it’s way through the inside of her body and adding to the comfort of the warmth she now found herself in.

    “Listening to him talk really distracts you from how cold it is,” she said with a chuckle, not breaking her gaze with the flame.

    “He always has a lot to say, that old cook,” the man responded warmly, “let me guess; his daughter is dating pigs, his wife works in the fields too late, and the taxes in Bravil are the Empires way of robbing the poor man’s pockets?”

    Lilum grinned, and looked in Lorn’s direction, “pretty much everything, you forgot his hatred of the ‘foul scum of a family’ he said he lived across from. Oh and how much he thought Dunmer deserved to be the Empire's enemies again.”

    “Ah,” Lorn spoke again, walking himself over to sit by the hearth, and filling a bowl of his own with the warm liquid, “I guess it is the time of year to be complaining about the Dunmer farmers that live across the way.”

    “Are Nords always that, erm,” her words seemed to fall short, as his picked up where she could not finish.

    “Racist? Ignorant? Arogant? Downright stupid?” His voice was filled with a tone of humor, “Yes. Yes they are. Most of them, anyway. Especially in these times, what with the Rebels still dragging this bloody war along.”

    “War?” Lilium questioned, not sure she had ever heard of any such conflict since the Great War.

    “Yeah, the Civil War,” Lorn said between gulps, “not surprised you haven’t heard of it. Most of Skyrim’s problems seem to be just that, Skyrim’s problems. The Empire doesn’t seem to care much what happens up here outside of what the Thalmor demand.”

    Lilium sat quietly, listening to the Imperial tell her about all that the northern province she found herself in. About Ulfric Stormcloak and his rebellion, the start of one of Skyrim’s harshest of winters, the Thalmor’s grip on all of Skyrim’s denizens among his other stories of battle and experiences. She took the time while listening and eating to examine the man she was talking to. He was an older man, definitely seen more years than she and more battles too. His hair, much like his beard, was graying, unkempt and long. She decidedly came to the conclusion that this man’s time in the province had likely quickened the aging process and made him look much older than he actually was. His stories weren’t that of the Great War, or of ‘the good ol’ days’ like her father had put it, despite his looking like he would be. They were about his time training under a General Tulius, and his service in Skyrim. He was nothing more than a middle aged man. One that was now forgotten and left to keep watch of a lonely road that connected one world with another.

    “You should sleep lass, tomorrow a cart with a shipment of food and supplies is arriving, and I can arrange for you to be on it, when it heads back north” he said, standing up and stretching, “they’ll probably only take you as far as Falkreath or Riverwood, but either way it won’t be near as cold and snowy or hard to get around in. Now I’ve got a road to watch. Sleep well.”

    Lilium nodded with a small grin, “goodnight Lorn, thank you for the food and shelter.”

    The man grinned and nodded back, before picking his torch up out of it’s sconce and walking up the stone steps to the world above. As she laid herself down atop the bedroll, she didn’t find any difficulty in finding the urge to sleep, and before long it wrapped her up in it’s arms and let her all into deep rest.
    #2 Specter of Death, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  3. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Sundas, the ninth of Last Seed, the year two hundred and two of the fourth era
    The Dead Man’s Drink, Falkreath

    Lorn kept his promise, and arranged for me to be taken on the imperial cart on it’s way back up north. I don’t think I will ever forget the man’s face, or his voice. He was the first person in Skyrim that I have ever met, and was the first kind person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since I left Cyrodiil.

    The hold that I am in now, Falkreath Hold they call it, is gorgeous. It’s like it is somehow shielded away from the cold and unforgiving nature of the Skyrim I had first experienced. It’s so lush and green, and there are even birds chirping and whistling within the trees. It reminds me of the Blackwood Forest around Leyawiin. The only thing that is missing is the humidity and the salty smell of the southern seas. But the warmth of the sun is still here, and I can’t help feeling a little homesick; even if Leyawiin and it’s forest had only been my home for but a few months.

    The township of Falkreath is, for lack of a better word, bland. Not that it isn’t beautiful, as I said it’s just the opposite. It’s just, the people and the air here is just drab and what I can only describe as grey. I asked the innkeeper why everything seemed so odd, and even her response was as dry and short as the town itself. “Falkreath is the city of the dead. The town of headstones and graves. What else would you expect, girl?” I was slightly taken aback by the tone of her response, but given her words I couldn’t blame her. I still find it a little rude to not even have shared her name when I gave her my own, but her words stuck with me. They explained a lot, and after walking around the roads of the town I began to take note of exactly what she meant. Even the name of the Inn itself finally clicked in my mind, ‘The Dead Man’s Drink.’ It seems even Arkay has a home on the mortal plane.

    Today I am headed northeast, where the innkeeper says the village of Riverwood sits. There I will rest, and tomorrow I will trek further North to Whiterun which is apparently just halfway to the College.


    “Follow the road north, until you see the Lake Illinalta,” the woman’s voice was still as gruff and emotionless as it was the night before, “then follow the road along it’s shore west, until you meet the White River. Stay along that waterway, and you’ll get to Riverwood at some point.”

    Lilium nodded along, and grinned at the woman as she finished her directions. “Thanks for the help! I’ll be sure to stop in to visit if I find myself in Falkreath again.”

    “Feel free not to,” the woman’s voice was suddenly more annoyed as she added, “oh, and fair warning, there are plenty of bandits who like to ambush travelers on the road. Hope you’re okay with a little running while you’re on your way.”

    Lilium did nothing but nod to the inn keeper as she turned around and began to sweep the dust covered floor. The she elf’s face slightly frowned at the grumpy woman, as she turned heel and started toward the door. As she stepped outside onto the outer deck of the grim wooden building, she was met with the glow of the sun glaring it’s light onto the town’s road. Her steps squished at each foot fall, and it was clear that it had rained while she was sleeping. There was a slight sense of remorse in her stomach as she wished she could have been awake to enjoy the downpour, but she pushed it aside. Lilium wasn’t going to waste a perfectly good morning feeling sorry for herself about missing some rain.

    “Lake Illinalta, here I come,” she proclaimed to herself, as she changed her slow walk into a determined one and followed the road toward the gate of the broken walled city. As she walked, she never looked ahead at the road in front of her. Instead she stared up at the sky through the trees. The pale blue was only broken up by the white puffs of clouds, which took many different forms as they moved at a snail’s pace overhead.

    Her heart lurched, and suddenly Lilium’s head cleared and snapped into focus. The thought about the woman’s warning of Bandits struck a chord of fear in her heart. Though the elf had known a small handful of destruction spells and a single conjuration spell, she had never used them against another person; only the rocks along the shore of the lake surrounding the Imperial City. Even then, her practice with them was minuscule, and she wasn’t even sure she would be able to cast them in the heat of any fight if there were to be one.

    She stopped mid pace, and looked around her. Surely there was a place that she could take an hour or two to practice in. As she scanned through the trees surrounding the road, her eyes caught a small cluster of rubble and rocks sitting in a small clearing. Perfect, she thought, and walked off of the road toward her chosen destination. One of the rocks was just as tall as she was, and thicker than any man, woman or bear that she guessed she might meet on her journey.

    With her bag next to a small pile of rubble and rocks behind her, she had a book open atop one of the flatter ones to look at. Lilium began to reach into her connection with the aetherial plane as she read. Her eyes scanned the descriptions in the book of destruction spells, taking in word after word; picture after picture. Mimicking the directions she saw, the warmth of flame began to fill and emanate from her hands.

    “Unlike that of a simple flames spell, the firebolt spell must be a quick and powerful thrust of your aetherial energies,” she read out loud to herself, “to charge enough energy for the bolt, circulate the energy through your body as you would the novice spell. However, instead of letting it flow out of your palms in a constant stream, let it build up in your hands before you release it. The longer the charge, the farther it will fly... Hmmm, okay.”

    Lilium closed her eyes, paused, and let the warmth of her energies move up and down throughout her torso until it started to put pressure on her arms and hands. When she opened her eyes, she let the energy fill her hands all at once, and with two thrusts she released two balls of flame from within each of her hands’ fingers. They scorched the side of the large rock, which stood mere yards away. She blinked, and felt her face go blank. “Wow.”

    “Though Fireball uses the same technique as Firebolt, you must learn to control the flames of your magic from a distance as well as thrusting it in the direction of your opponent,” she read, taking the book from the stone and placing it in her lap as she sat down in it’s place, “to practice this technique, cast the novice flame spell from one hand and let it flow outwards in a stream like you normally would. With the opposite hand, try to feel the energy of the magic flowing within the flame as it is cast away, do this with both hands until you can feel the flow of magic strongly within the flames you cast. Once confident, try to bend the flow of your flame stream at different distances. Do this by pulling the energies in the direction your hand wishes to guide it.”

    The elf shook her head, shrugging off the idea to even attempt the more advanced spell. I only just learned this spell, I need to get it mastered before I should even venture into that difficult a spell, she thought to herself as she stood back up. She set the tome down, and placed herself back in the same place she stood when first casting the spell, and began to charge her flame’s energy, this time in only one hand.

    “Once I get this down, I have frost and electric spells to practice too,” she spoke to herself as she released the ball of flame from her right hand, “then I gotta get on the road by sun-high if I want to get to Riverwood by the day’s end.”
    #3 Specter of Death, Sep 9, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  4. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Middas, the twelfth of Last Seed, the year two hundred and two of the fourth era
    Braidwood Inn, Kynesgrove

    These last few days have been rather stressful. At least I have gotten to practice my spellcasting…. on both rocks and people. When the lady in Falkreath told me about bandits, she wasn’t kidding. I have learned the hard way, that this province is far more wild and unforgiving than all the wilds in Cyrodiil combined. Maybe it’s the fact that there aren’t constant Imperial patrols walking the roads between cities. Yet, something tells me that even if there were, they’d just be wasting lives.

    Somewhere on the road to Riverwood, I met a nice trio of bandits posing as friendly hunters. Thankfully the dried blood on one of their necks caught my eye just before they turned on me to attack. I wish I knew one of the cloak spells, because I definitely could have used it. I managed to take down two of them with a few of the firebolts I had the practice, while the third I managed to defeat by casting a spell that I have never even cast before… and one I won’t be casting ever again. I have only read about conjuring familiars, and in an act of desperation I willed myself to conjure anything to come out and help me. I’ve read that familiars come out different from person to person, whether wolves to lions, they are unique to their caster. Mine… Well, mine was surprising. The bear tore through the last poor bandit, until he was nothing more than…. human pulp. I am somewhat grateful they were all dispatched after that, because I almost fainted. I didn't think it would be so energy intensive, as it is technically a novice spell…. perhaps the size of my familiar had something to do with it...

    When I was in Riverwood I managed to charm my way into getting a rather cute Bosmer to guide me on my way to Whiterun. This was a good call, even though we didn’t even run into any trouble. I wasn’t willing to risk my life again just trying to get from one place to the next. He was also some decent company. I tried to pay him for his troubles, but he insisted I didn’t. It was “his pleasure,” he said. Cute little man.

    Whiterun was nothing short of a headache. I had to barter with a guard at the gate to even get inside, some nonsense about dragons. I realized too late that the guard was likely doing me a favor, as the hustle and bustle of the panicked people inside was overwhelming. The only place I could catch any sort of break was the general store. Belethor was the name of the man who ran it. Iit only took me a few moments to realize exactly why it was the only place that wasn’t busy. He was an absolute creepy scoundrel. He would not leave me alone, and insisted that he’d give me the best tour of the city followed by the best night I’d ever have. Let’s just say that I was only there for a total of 5 minutes before I opted to deal with the overwhelming world that was waiting for me outside.

    By nightfall the city was virtually silent, and in the Inn outside of the Bard’s music, it was relatively quiet. There was some low talking between individuals. Mostly just a few other travelers or adventurers sitting with a hot meal and a cup of mead. I was one of those people, and fell into the bed I rented with a full belly and tired eyes.

    Yesterday, I made friends with a small group of traveling merchants, who let me join them as they traveled east. I’ve only ever met two Khajiit in my life, and both were apprentice mages in the Arcane College. They have a very interesting way of speaking - which I adore, and all of them had wonderful stories to share as we traveled. Two of their guards were large, heavily armored and intimidating men that reminded me of large bipedal tigers. There was another guard, a woman called Majjaan. She was smaller than every other cat in the group, and almost half my height, but her stories and the respect the other guards showed her was an example of how fierce she was. She was a master archer and sword wielder, and she trained the other guards to fight along with some basic lessons to all the others in the group. The pride and experience in her eyes was something I don’t think I will forget any time soon. The group’s leader, Za’nir, had some of the best stories. He was clearly much older than all the other Khajiit in the group, and told many stories about his time exploring the southern regions of Tamriel. From the thick forests of Valenwood to the almost impossibly navigated swamps of Blackmarch. It seemed like he had seen almost any and every place there was to see.

    They were kind enough to take me as far as Windhelm with them, but recommended that after I rest, I should head back on the western road until I found it split north. That is where I will find the College. They advised me to avoid getting close to Windhelm, and stay at the Inn in Kynesgrove. They didn’t tell me anything more than “Stormcloak leader does not like mer or cat, enter you should not, we would not allow you to be killed in such hateful arms.” I’d assume the resentment of the Thalmor’s harsh laws and restrictions enacted with the White Gold Concordat made their tolerance to other races incredibly low. I’m grateful for their guidance and wisdom, they were a wonderful family of loving people I think I will always be connected to; for the rest of my days. I hope I get to see them again soon.

    Tomorrow after a good night’s rest and a bowl of the delicious stew the innkeeper prepared, I am hoping to get to Winterhold as quickly as possible. Iddra is a very welcoming and kind woman, and a very loving mother to her children. She has helped me plan the safest path tomorrow, and told me everything I should expect along the road. All that’s left is to finish my meal, and lay my head to rest. Tomorrow I will finally arrive at the place I have traveled all this way to find.


    The northern morning sky shone clear blue, as the rising sun made the snow bluffs glitter like dazzling stars. Lilium had never been more in love with the white sparkling precipitation that surrounded the road she walked. Not even a day ago had she been cursing at the pale, cold powder as it blew in her face and stuck to the fabric of her hood. In the moment she couldn’t help feeling envious of her feline friends she had been traveling with, as they never once shivered under the thick fur that covered their bodies.

    The waterway she learned to be called the River Yorgrim roared as it flowed toward the sea on her left. The torrent started to calm down, and she found herself only paces away from the lake which it originated. The road climbing north into the icy hills appeared to her just as she was about to pass it by, covered in more snow than the road where she stood. Nobody’s walked this way in quite some time it seems, she thought with her first steps North.

    Her mind wandered thinking about what the college would hold in store for her once she arrived. The many drawings of what it was said to look like, the description of it’s grounds, the story of the great collapse. She’d heard that the city got it’s name from the appearance of its state in a permanent winter. After the few days that she had been in the northern province, the idea of never ending winter was the last thing that she wanted to deal with.

    As she passed by a large, crumbling stone fort the site of a tall mountain caught her eye as a large female statue adorned it’s peak. With two of the statue’s arms stretched up, Lilium could make out a star being held in one of the hands, while a moon was in the other. Azura? She thought in question, trying to guess the deity the statue was depicting. It was rather strange to her that a daedra would be so prominently shown in a shrine, then her mind clicked. Lilium was rather close to the border between Skyrim and Morrowind, and one of the Dunmer’s patron deity’s was Azura herself. Lilium nodded in respect toward the shrine as she walked, then returned her focus to the road and her thoughts.

    As the shrine went further behind Lilium’s sight with each step, she thought she could see what she thought was the college’s main tower, and a pang of excitement filled her stomach. It wouldn’t long before she could finally say her long journey was complete, and as the road ahead began to descend the town slowly came into view. Wow, was all she could think as she reached the bottom of the descent, and her pang of excitement began to mix with that of slight disappointment.

    The city was indeed in shambles, that was for certain. It seemed the collapse she had read and heard about had much more of a toll that she initially thought. There were only a small handful of buildings in the once great city, along with a similar amount of people. Just a couple guards walked the single road that guided Lilium’s sight forward to a large black gate. A pretty altmer woman stood arms crossed within the archway, and for a moment Lilium thought that they locked eyes as she stared her direction. It wasn’t until she turned her back to pace that Lilium noticed she had awkwardly stopped walking to look around in awe of it all. It was nothing like what she anticipated, but she knew she would be happy in the small city.
    #4 Specter of Death, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  5. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Turdas, the twentieth of Last Seed, the year two hundred and two of the fourth era
    College of Winterhold

    This last week has been nothing less than a dream come true. Faralda, the woman who was standing “guard”, as she put it, gave me a simple spell casting test to see my magical ability. I passed with flying colors, I think. For the first couple days, she was hard to read, but I think she was impressed? I can at least say that I was impressed with myself as I had only practiced that spell once, just days before my arrival.

    I fell in love with the grounds almost simultaneously as I was shown around the College. It was far different than what I imagined from hearing in all the stories, but they did manage to capture at least one of it’s elements. The snow. It is truly like a permanent winter up here, and the more time I am here, the colder it seems to get. But at the same time, I don’t seem to be shivering near as much as I was in my first couple days.

    Faralda has taken quite an interest in me, as well. From what I have seen, none of the master mages take such an interest in individual apprentices. They just teach and advise the students as best they can. However, Faralda, she’s become more than just a teacher to me. She’s begun to mentor me, and I suppose has taken me under her wing. Not only that, she seems to actually enjoy my company. I can only say the same, I find myself respecting her more and more day after day. I look up to her, and wish that one day I can be as wise and intelligent as she, and more importantly - as skilled. I wouldn’t like to say that I idolize somebody here so soon, but I think in not saying it or at least acknowledging it I would be lying to myself. It’s as if she’s known me for years, watching me grow and learn into the woman I am now. What I’d imagine having an elder sister, or perhaps even a mother would feel like.

    I can tell the other apprentices hold some resentment towards me because of our relationship, like they think I am getting special treatment or something. According to Faralda, “none of them have shown the slightest amount of interest or care in learning as you do, darling. If they wanted to learn or be taught as much or as diligently as you, what is stopping them from joining us? I’ve never said that these are our own private expeditions.” So I guess it’s not so much special treatment as it is more diligent teachings. So I pay no mind, if they want to learn and practice as much as me, it’s their responsibility. Nobody else’s.

    We talk and have bonded a lot, especially while outside of the college on certain training expeditions and practicing sessions. Trading stories, and experiences and just learning about each other. I haven’t been as close with a person since my father passed. In fact, she is the only person I have ever told or talked to about my father. I think that is the catalyst in bringing us as close as we are now.

    She’s giving a lecture this morning on The College of Whispers after Tolfdir gives a brief lesson to the new apprentices who came in yesterday. One of them is somebody everyone is calling the Dragonborn. Which, from my understanding, defeated the World Eater when he returned late last year. I thought it was mere rumor, however all the evidence proves otherwise. And according to Faralda, apparently that isn’t the only title of importance that he holds. The list of his accomplishments seems fairly long, and upon arrival Mirabelle escorted him, his companion and a troll clad in iron out of the college. “You can return when you don’t have such a foul creature, and foul mouthed Orsimer with you,” was all I heard of the confrontation. One of the new apprentices, a nord called Onmund I believe, said something about the Dawnguard and their usage of trolls as the man left. Nothing of importance to me, however. I don’t intend on introducing myself to him this morning, having to talk to the three yesterday was redundant, as soon they too will resent me.

    I shouldn’t wait any longer if I wish to speak to Faralda before her lecture.


    “Good morning dear,” Faralda spoke in warm greeting, “how has the morning been treating you?”

    “Fairly well,” Lilium responded cheerfully, “I had time to turn my books back into Urag before I found you. I was thinking I read up on Saarthal again this evening after we practice this afternoon. Tolfdir probably told you he’s taking the apprentices to the dig-site tomorrow. I wanted a refresher on the ruins before I headed down there to help him and Arniel babysit.”

    “Yes, he indeed told me,” she responded, holding the door to the Hall of the Elements open for Lilium as she followed, “but don’t worry about reading about that gunk of nordic reclamation again, you are a veritable expert on the subject. As with most other things you have read about this week.”

    Lilium nodded in understanding, following back in at the mer’s side and looking to her face. “Any particular reason why? You know how I am.”

    “Yes. ‘Preparation is a mage’s first line of defense, even if it isn’t needed’,” she interrupted Lilium’s line of thought, “as much as I love it when you quote me dear, it isn’t necessary as you will be with me tomorrow.”

    Faralda stopped walking when she met the center circle of the hall, turning to make eye contact with her, before smiling and sitting down on it’s ledge.

    “Yes, I am aware Tolfdir requested your aid specifically to ‘babysit’, as you so eloquently put it,” she spoke with a chuckle, gesturing Lilium to take a seat next to her, “but Savos and I agree that you can be put to better use, as this ‘Dragonborn’ character will be more than enough to keep them all safe.”

    Lilium sat down next to Faralda, not breaking her gaze as they conversed. “Well what is that we will be doing tomorrow?”

    “I’ve arranged a carriage to take us to Solitude after my lecture,” she stated shortly, absent-mindedly taking off her bag, and removing her books and notes out in preparation of her speaking, “Savos has asked me and Sergius to take some enchanted items to the Blue Palace. Elisif had some things enchanted here, and they need an escort. She’s also requested we stay for a meal to update her on the College.”

    “Let me guess,” Lilium interjected with a role of her eyes, “Sergius has ‘too many orders to complete’, and ‘can’t possibly leave when his skills are in such high demand’.”

    Faralda smirked with a slight chuckle and nod, “as usual, Savos avoided the argument by tasking me with selecting another one of the master mages to come with me.”

    Lilum’s eyes widened, and her heart began to beat with anticipation. She had a sense as to what Faralda was asking of her, and her mind fluttered in excitement at the thought. Had she already proven she was capable of more senior tasks?

    “I convinced Savos to allow me to invite you in joining me,” Faralda nodded at her to confirm her thoughts, “I believe you are more than capable enough to begin more adept level training, as you’ve already surpassed the even senior apprentices in the mere eight days you’ve been here. Savos agreed, and gave me the blessing. So, my dear Lily, are you up for a little adventure?”

    The tone of her mentor’s voice was playful and seductive, it sent a shiver of excitement up Lily’s spine. She stared into the Altmers eyes, feeling her own glowing with admiration. She couldn’t believe that she had made such strides this early on. Strides early enough that her Archmage acknowledged them, and more importantly, her mentor. Lilium could only muster a small nod of excitement, as her eyes began to water. Am I making you proud too, father?

    “Oh,” Faralda spoke in gentle surprise, embracing the young mer in a hug, “darling, it’s alright! Don’t cry, by the divines!”

    “I’m sorry, I’m just,” Lilium sat back, looking at Faralda once more, she smiled sincerely, “I think my father would be- I think he’d proud, don’t you think?”

    Faralda did nothing but nod, and hug her once more. “Of course he would, Lily. Now let’s stop the tears, I don’t want you to make me misty while I’m speaking!”

    Before long, the hall began to fill with student mages. Lilium, like Faralda, leveled her emotions out and prepared for the lecture. She sat in the very same spot, next to where Faralda had been sitting. In her stead, was a pile of her mentors books and notes. Lilium watched as the master mage paced back and forth, looking from her feet to the tall ceiling of the hall while thinking. As she was prepping for her words for the small group of apprentices, Lilium picked up one of the books in her pile, and began to flip through it. It had no formal title, and it’s pages were poorly scribbled and filled in. What an obscure little tome, she thought, shortly getting bits and pieces of it’s writings. Some vague little nonsense capturing the Synod, nothing more than what Faralda was surely going to be discussing.

    “If everyone is here, let’s begin,” Faralda raised her voice, hushing the the quiet conversation filling the hall. Lilium scanned the room, it seemed all the apprentices had come to listen. Only the new faces caught her attention though, though she knew they would only eventually join the rest of the faces in the college’s every day functioning.

    They had all gathered on the stair steps that surrounded the center ring Lilium sat on, and quickly her eyes found the four newcomers. Onmund, the nord, was an awkwardly charming looking young man. As he fumbled over himself sitting down next to the dunmer woman, Lilium could see his clumsiness flow into his whispered words as he introduced himself to her quietly. The young mer simply grinned a friendly grin, and nodded at the clumsy man before turning a blind eye. Lilium respected her response to Onmund, she too quickly ignored the man’s attempt to speak too much in her direction; talking to a man nervously fumbling over his words while clearly staring at her body rather than her eyes, was not within the realm of enjoyment for her. The new Khajiit sat on the other side of the young dunmer, and as her eyes fell on him he finished speaking to the man next to him; the nord they called “Dragonborn”. He was a brutish looking man, clad in ugly, dented armor. She looked at him briefly, before finally letting her eyes fall back onto her mentor just before she began.

    “It is no secret that both the Synod and the College of Whispers have recently made inquiries as to the status of our College here in Winterhold. At this time, there is no indication that either group is aware of the other's correspondence. The College of Winterhold has thus far declined requests for direct meetings. This has been at the specific request of Arch-Mage Aren,” she started in more stern a voice than Lilium had expected, “Aren believed that although the initial communications were innocent enough, they were sent with a particular motive in mind. The Synod's harsh rules and draconian structure are maintained only by suppressing any opposition to their Council's policies. It is entirely possible that they look to our College here in Winterhold in order to find supporters for their organization. Likewise, the College of Whispers has long been driven by its desire to directly oppose the Synod. They focus on research banned by the Synod, such as Conjuration and Necromancy. The College of Whispers hopes to learn that our College also supports these avenues of research. Thus they may claim that the Synod is indeed a political minority in the Empire and should be treated as such.”

    A slight shuffling tore Lilium’s attention away from her mentor, and she scanned the seated apprentices. The Dragonborn had not so quietly stood up, dragging J’zargo up with him and trampled their way out of the hall without any attempt to be quiet. Some hero, she thought, shaking her head in quiet disdain. Looking back at Faralda, she could see her gaze follow the hero as well, with a glare of offense before she looked in Lilium’s direction for agreement of their disapproval. It seemed she wasn’t the only one who felt slight annoyance for his lack of common decency or respect for learning.

    “Our actual position and policies are irrelevant. No matter the facts of the response, it will certainly be twisted to suit the whims of either group. Indeed, it has been jokingly suggested that we send the exact same response to both, which each will warp into support for their side. At present, these two groups do little beyond attempting to gain the attention and favor of the Emperor. They appear to have little interest in real study and research for the sake of gaining knowledge,” Faralda continued after a deep sigh, “Arch-Mage Aren believes that their conflict poses a significant threat to the autonomy of our College, and I concur. Falling in with either would threaten to draw much unwanted attention to our College. If either group goes through less official channels and attempt to contact you directly, please refer them to the College's Master Wizard. Say as little as possible so as to avoid compromising our neutral position.”

    The look on Faralda’s face as she found her conclusion, was a mixture of happiness and relief, was she excited to leave as well? “Thank you all for sitting in on this rather brief lesson, and welcome to all the new faces we have here with us. If you all would like to head up to the Arcaneum, Urag is going to be giving a brief lecture before helping you all with finding the right books for your studies, if not, have a nice day. And work hard!”

    The master mage quickly stepped back towards Lilium with a content little grin, and patted her on the shoulder before sitting down next to her. As she started to shove her tomes back within her bag, Lilium draped a grateful arm around her shoulders and began to hum a random little tune. The excitement that was emanating off of her master radiated out of her like waves of warmth, comforting Lilium as she hummed. Before long, Faralda rested her head on Liliums shoulders joining her hum briefly before the two broke out into a short giggle.

    “Come with me while I drop these off in my quarters?” Faralda invited. Lilium nodded happily, and stood up with a skip following after her mentor.

    When they got to her chambers, Lilium sat in one of the chairs around the perimeter of the room and watched her mentor put her traveling gear on over her robes. Lilium quivered suddenly, as the thought of traveling popped up in her head. She had no clothes outside of her robes now. The clothes that were virtually rags by the time she had arrived had been thrown out as soon as she was able to change into her current attire, but all she could remember was how cold it was outside, and how warm those rags had kept her. At least they had a thick wool cloak, Lilium thought in slight panic. Mid thought, a black fur cloak landed in her lap shaking her focus back to reality.

    “You threw away the only one you had,” Faralda said kindly, as Lilium looked up at her gratefully, “this one is better and you can have it, I already have one. See?”

    Lilium stared at her as she twirled around, the fur now draped around her frame caught the air as she spun. “Thank you so much. I will take good care of it, I promise.”
    #5 Specter of Death, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  6. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Fredas, the twenty-first of Last Seed, the year two hundred and two of the fourth era
    Winking Skeever, Solitude

    Yesterday was a day I will probably remember for quite a long time. Though the carriage ride to Solitude was rather bland and uneventful, the very second we stepped foot into the city the day quickly turned around. We only had mere hours left in the day, but that was more than enough time for Faralda and I to explore.

    The city is beautiful. It reminds me fondly of the Imperial City in Cyrodiil. Wandering the streets took me back to my days walking thoughtlessly around the city with a book in hand. I didn’t bring any of my books with me here, of course, but the memories made me wish I had. The walls aren’t near as tall, but their blue hue is charming and it brings them their own sense of security. Something that continues to strike me the most is the attitude of most of the people here. They aren’t “hoity toity”, aside from a few stand out examples, they are surprisingly warm and welcoming. I suppose that is just the seldom seen Nordic charm that comes with the province.

    After seeing the Castle Dour, and the Bard’s College, we decided to do a little “shopping” if one can call it that. We bounced from the General Store to the Apothecary, and eventually found ourselves falling into a small clothing shop called the Radiant Raiment. Faralda told me that it’s the hub of clothing and robes for the province, taking in the wares of master weavers from across Tamriel. The charm of the place was wondrous to me, getting to see things that reminded me of home and giving me glimpses of the world beyond anything I had seen. Unfortunately the charm was a little smudged by the shop's owners. Two sisters, Altmer like Faralda and I, with personalities as bland as dirt and just as rough. Their attitudes didn’t drown out the highlight of that visit however. Faralda helped me put together a new combination of cloth to make my own style of robes that matched the theme of the college. She liked how purple looked on me, and it gave me confidence as I could only agree - not to be cliche but I think it brings out my eyes. Purple, black and grey were the tones we ultimately went with, and it came out to a very reasonable price.

    We ended our night here at the Winking Skeever. I have never laughed so hard in my life, as Faralda shared stories of her days as an apprentice mage - training next to a young and clumsy Tolfdir. I can only imagine! She treated me with my first mead, and small cup of wine whilst we talked and bantered; and while I didn’t enjoy the wine the sweet mead really pleased my pallet. Perhaps a new favorite beverage? The buzz it gave us was more than enough to get us to enjoy the bard’s tunes and bring an easy and restful sleep.

    We slept way longer than we should have, and here soon we are headed to the Blue Palace to deliver our parcel and meet the Jarl of the city. I got to see a glimpse of the palace grounds while leaving the Bard’s College, and I am very much looking forward to getting to see the site up close.


    “Thank you again for being so kind as to deliver these to me in person,” the woman said, between elegant spoonfuls meeting lush lips, “I didn’t think it was quite necessary, but when I got word from Savos insisting as much, I couldn’t help but invite you to lunch and tea.”

    Lilium was still astounded by the beauty of the Jarl. “Elisif the Fair” was most befitting to the woman, and the radiant glow that emanated from her almost felt warm. The attitude and the welcoming nature she presented only added to the feeling, and reflected the aura her city surrounded itself in. The rich, delicious soup and aromatic tea was also a welcome addition to it all.

    “It’s our pleasure, truly,” Faralda responded kindly, with a gentle nod as Elisif handed the jewelry to a small Bosmer maiden, who quickly disappeared as the conversation picked up, “it’s rare for us to stray far from the College now days, and getting away from humdrum is quite nice.”

    Lilium only nodded in kind to Faralda’s words, moving from her eyes back to Elisif’s. The two of them were complete strangers to the Jarl, yet somehow the friendly conversation made it feel like they were old friends.

    “To be quite honest, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been in Solitude. I’m very glad to see it’s still quite lovely despite the current state of things,” Faralda spoke some more, taking a sip from the cup of tea after setting her spoon back into a now empty bowl, “and it’s actually Lily’s first time seeing the city. We got her those lovely robes from Taarie and Endarie yesterday afternoon and we both enjoyed a merry night at the Inn.”

    Lilium grinned at Faralda’s input, she seemed rather happy and perhaps prideful to be recapping on their exploration the day before; and that happiness and pride was infectious. “Yes, I’d have to say I’m quite enchanted by this city of yours.”

    “I’m very glad to hear it,” Elisif returned with wide smile as she set her spoon in her bowl, and waved over a young man at the far end of the dining room, “I’m also pleasantly surprised the sisters at the Raiment didn’t cloud your judgment of Solitude. They tend to have that effect on most.”

    The three chuckled lightly in unison, as Elisif gestured at the man as he approached her to clear their empty dishes and refill their cups with the herbal liquid. Lilium glanced at Faralda for a moment before watching the lad quickly step around the table, respectfully and elegantly performing his duties. He wasn’t more than 18 years old, but the determination and well to do air he held around him showed her just how proper all the palace and its denizens were.

    “Coming from the Imperial City, I’ve had my share of a few rather lackluster characters,” Lilium spoke up, once more adding to the conversation.

    “Oh, how lovely,” Elisif spoke brightly, “it’s not often I get to speak with another Cyrodiilian! Where do you hail from my dear?”

    Lilium smiled an almost embarrassingly wide smile. It had been a while since she too had spoken to another who came from her homeland. “Well before I can remember, my father took me in when he was stationed in Anvil, and we moved around often. But eventually we settled in the Imperial city.”

    Elisif nodded along warmly, holding a solid grin on her face. With a look into the eyes of Faralda, Lilium noticed that she too seemed quite content with listening to them speak about their home. When Elisif began to speak once more, Lilium turned back to meet her gaze.

    “Anvil is such a lovely place,” she returned, looking from Lilium to Faralda and back, “quite reminiscent of Solitude. Of course, Solitude doesn’t carry the same aroma of the western seas; which is what I remember most about the port.”

    “I hope to visit one day, if the College allows me a break of service,” Faralda spoke up, holding her refilled cup between both hands, taking in it’s warmth, “I’ve always wanted to see the province, and the west coast specifically. Lilium’s stories of the lands has only made the urge a little bit more tantalizing.”

    “I hope your wish comes true at some point, Faralda. It is truly a magical place.” Elisif replied shortly.

    “Where in Cyrodiil are you from, my lady?” Lilium asked inquisitively, taking a quiet sip of the newly hot liquid.

    “I was raised on my family’s land in the colovian highlands,” Elisif answered, holding the same warm smile, “I moved to the Imperial City as soon as I could, something about it’s walls almost supernaturally called to me. That’s actually where I met Torygg, our roots in Skyrim was what ultimately brought us together, and brought us back here.”

    Though Elisif's face still glowed with content joy, Lilium could feel the room grow slightly solemn at the subject of the Jarl’s late husband. Lilium didn’t know much about his passing, or the situation that led to it aside from it having to do with Ulfric Stormcloak and the rebellion that had recently raged across the province. Faralda shifted in her seat, obviously due to the discomfort of the words, but trying to hide it as if it were just an itch. “So, Savos told us you have a few inquiries about the college?”

    “I’ll admit, I truly only said that out of courtesy to the man,” Elisif politely replied, looking down into her cup, “I don’t know the slightest thing about the College or it’s happenings. It was um- well it was more among Torygg’s interests.”

    “I’m sorry, my lady,” Faralda set her cup down and began to speak gently and apologetically, “it wasn’t our intention to bring the discussion to this.”

    Elisif raised her hand up in interruption, “no need to apologize my dear. It is my own thoughts that are to blame. My late husband’s death has been on my mind heavily recently, I’m afraid it has started to bleed into my own words.”

    The long sigh that followed Elisif’s words felt heavy on Lilium’s heart, and caused her lungs to squeeze out a similar breath. If she were to remember correctly, the High King’s death was more than a year ago, but even then Lilium couldn’t imagine how scarred her heart might be if she was put in a similar situation. It was then when her head perked up, and her mind snapped into a place of optimism. Suddenly Lilium felt responsible for bringing mood back up tempo.

    “Well maybe giving you some insight into the college will, I don’t know,” Lilium paused, searching for the right words for what she was trying to mean, “help bring your heart to a catharsis about the subject, give you some peace with this portion of the memory of your husband?”

    Elisif’s eyes returned to meet Lilium’s gaze, then began to bounce between her’s and Faralda’s. “Perhaps you’re right. Torygg did always try to include me in such subjects, but things always managed to get in the way.”

    The look on the Jarl’s face grew back into the brightness that the conversation had once held. Lilium grinned to match her face, and turned to Faralda to carry on the discussion. “Faralda is the master wizard here, she’d know more about the important happenings.”

    Faralda nodded, then looked back at Elisif and began to speak fondly about the recent discoveries in Saarthal, and the increase in the student body. Lilium loved listening to her mentor speak and inform. Even when talking to such a figure of prominence, it felt like she was teaching - emanating that sense of pride and enjoyment that came with it for her. Lilium could tell with glances at the Jarl that she was just as fascinated and enthralled as she would often find herself during her master’s lectures. She was a natural teacher, a natural speaker, and Lilium admired that.

    “That is so very fascinating, this "Eye of Magnus", quite the rare discovery it sounds like! I've only just heard the beginning of the schools inner workings and all I want to do is see it in person and learn more,” Elisif swelled as Faralda reached a somewhat natural transition from the information back into pleasant conversation, “on your return to Savos, let him know he has the full support of my administration here. I would like to aid and be involved in the school and it’s teachings! It’s such a taboo subject in Skyrim right now, and it really shouldn’t be. The sooner we can regrow the college the better.”

    Lilium looked at Faralda as the Altmer grinned in appreciation, not breaking eye contact with the Jarl. “Most definitely my lady. I am certain Savos will be most appreciative, as will all the College's Masters and it's students. I certainly am. We can use whatever aid we can get for our research and teaching. I’m sure Lilium agrees.”

    Lilium’s eyes bounced from her mentor to the Jarl, who's eyes fell on her. “Yes, absolutely. I can’t get enough of the learning, and I strive one day to join the ranks of Faralda and the other masters in teaching aspiring mages. Without the sponsorship and support of the people of Skyrim, the college would soon fall away from importance and end the influence of Aetherius in the north.”

    “I’m very glad to hear that there are still such aspiring and inspired minds dedicated to the subject. I hate to end such quality discussion so early, but a Jarl’s work never truly ends. But I do say that I have enjoyed this little meeting of ours, and I have taken great benefit from the short time I have spent with you both,” Elisif spoke with a bright tone, and an appreciative look on her face.

    “Quite alright lady Elisif, we won’t keep you any longer,” Faralda said in a formal response, leading Lilium in standing from the table with her, “with luck we should make it back to the college by dinnertime.”

    “Yes, but before you two leave though,” Elisif added, standing up with them, “I have gifts, for such lovely company and such courtesy.”

    With a wave of her wrist, the young man who had cleared the table not long ago returned to her side as graceful as a gentle breeze. In each hand sat plush red pillows. On one sat a pair of gauntlets and boots, of elven design and ebony make. The other held an intricate circlet and necklace from the same fine metal, adorned with vibrant rubies and amethysts.

    “I’ll have to start by saying I really only had intended to gift these to one person, as I only expected one mage to come this afternoon,” she spoke to the two she-elves, “I occasionally receive crafts from Highrock, many of which I keep in my personal collection. But for the fine enchanting of my husband's jewelry, I felt there was nothing more befitting than to pass on such excellent craftsmanship. They are crafted from the purest ebony infused with Wrothgarian Damascus, similar to designs of elven origins, with the artistic uniqueness of their specific makers.”

    Faralda and Lilium looked at each other in equal parts awe and excitement. Had they really deserved a reward for a carriage ride and a lunch?

    “I’m not one for armor,” Faralda spoke in appreciation, “Lily?”

    Lilium nodded in confirmation. She had always wanted armor, something to compare to her father and his service, and now she had some. And a gift from the wife of the late High King, no less. Taking the set, and Faralda taking the jewelry, they thanked the Jarl respectfully, and said their goodbyes to the woman.

    Many merry words were said on their way out of the city, as both were entranced by the quality of the gifts they had received, trying them on and posing for one another. They kept the same tone of friendly conversation with one another, as good friends usually do, and quickly found themselves aboard another carriage, turned in the direction of home.
    #6 Specter of Death, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  7. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Middas, the sixth of Morning Star, the year two hundred and three of the fourth era
    College of Winterhold Roofs, Winterhold

    It’s been. A while.

    I suppose it’s a little odd for me to feel guilt for not writing in this thing, but I do. If feels like father might be reading. If he is, if you are- happy birthday. I miss you. I love you. I wish you were here. I wish I could talk to you again- see you again.

    I miss you so much.

    I shouldn’t be sad today. I should be celebrating. I know that’s what you would want. But I can't. I just-

    Faralda tells me you’d be proud of me. And that’s great and all that, but..but sometimes it... She didn’t know you, so I sometimes don’t really know if it’d be true. Sometimes I forget what it was like to know you. At all.

    This is too much. I don't even know what made me want to even bring this damn thing up here with me.


    A gentle snow washed over the walls of the College as a light breeze lifted the flakes to dance across Lilium's eyesight and into her face. The biting cold met her lips with a tickling bite, and her breath poured through it’s path in a cloud of resonance. She was out of breath, an abnormality for the casting she was practicing, but it’s occurrence was out of the sheer emotion she was throwing with each spell. Freeze being thrown from one hand and an attempt at a new spell she was learning in the other.

    “Damn it all,” her voice exhaled aggresively, head falling back to look at the sky above, “I don’t understand what I am doing wrong!”

    She sat on a small stool she had managed to steal away with her, and practically tore open the spell book for the spell. She slowly scanned the tome, skipping over the useless background information she had already read. Nonsense filled with information written by a self-proclaimed “vampire hunter” called Vanheim Hell-Song. All she was interested in was it’s cloaking ability to help ward off her encounters with dead enemies, of which she has had quite often lately.

    “Stendarr’s Aura is a difficult spell to cast for those without a devoted connection to the divine, but most of the honorable living should be able to cast this spell with enough time and practice,” she read out loud in a mumble, “as it emanates the warmth and power of the sun, it is recommended beginners practice the spell while under it’s gaze. Yea, cause that’s totally an option. I’ll come back to this bloody nightmare of a spell later. I have better things to practice.”

    She raised her left hand up, level to her head and palm up and let her right hand match it’s position. Ironflesh first, she thought, releasing a warm energy from her left hand with a flex of her muscles. It’s warmth filled her body with strength as the flesh spell coated her person as smooth as a summer’s rain. Lightning Cloak, she thought next, mimicking the same action and release of energy she had completed on the opposite hand. The energy released continued to pull itself out of her hand, as it swirled itself around her following the guidance of her hand's circular motions. When she felt the momentum of her Aetherial connection begin to naturally seep from her pores, she quit the conducting of it’s swirling as it took the initiative to continue on it’s own. Chain Lightning! She thought with a vigorous push, putting her hands together and releasing an intense and powerful bolt of shock that quickly tore away some more of her magical connection as it flew away from the college.

    Lilium fell to a kneel, as the spells surrounding her faded. She felt light headed after the intensity she threw into her casting, and struggled to catch her breath as she slowly stepped her way back to the stool in search of momentary respite. A shock shot up her spine, and her body flinched as a voice sounded out behind her.

    “Keep casting like that, and you might sever your connection with Aetherius completely,” the familiar voice half scolded, and half worried, “Lily, what’s going on? Casting with such emotion is powerful, but that power comes at a sever price if not contained and self supervised.”

    Lilium hunched over, resting her elbows on her knees. Her eyes stared at her feet, before squeezing shut. The sudden call out of her intense emotions was a shock to her. She had no idea it was so obvious, she had no idea she was so emotional. Her eyes stung behind her eyelids, as she tried to hold back tears.

    “My dear,” Faralda spoke gently, closer this time, a gentle hand meeting her back in a comforting motion, “what’s wrong? Are you alright?”

    Lilium felt a response build up in her throat, but she squeezed it back, swallowing it like a mouthful of sand. She let her head nod gently, opening her eyes and letting a few loose tears fall out of them. She never broke her stare at her feet and the ground just underneath them, as her gaze began to itch. It’s not worth the explanation, she thought to herself as a whisper in her head. If you don’t say it out loud, these feelings can’t manifest physically.

    Something’s wrong Lily,” Faralda spoke almost pleading as she walked around Lilium’s form and knelt in front of her, searching for any attempt at eye contact, “talking about it always helps, dear. You know I am always here to listen.”

    Lilium nodded once more, responding to Faralda and fighting the urge to listen to the small voice in her head pleading for her to communicate. She felt the words she had swallowed bubble back up in her throat, but she swallowed them again- this time it physically hurt to keep them down. It wasn’t like her to stay silent with such emotions, especially with Faralda. They were like open books for each other at this point, and in her head she began to question exactly why she wasn’t trying to let her know. She couldn’t find the motivation in her mind that kept her from speaking up, and her heart began to ache as it slowly pumped faster and faster.

    “You don’t have to tell me if it’s too hard to, sweetie,” Faralda gently spoke, gently coddling Lilium’s face for a moment, before shifting her kneel to sitting with her legs crossed in front of her, “I’ll stay here with you though, I know you’d do the same for me.”

    Lilium squeezed her eyes shut again, as she felt the tears behind her eyes break through the reservations on her emotions. They started to leak through her quenched eyelids, and her breath began to shutter as the sadness she had been fighting to retain escaped her. She covered her face with both hands, and began to let the crying begin, relieving the stress of holding it back. She felt Faralda’s hands cup each of her shoulders, rubbing them gently side to side.

    “I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you today,” Lilium said softly between her shaking breaths, “it’s not a great day for me.”

    “Hush, child,” Faralda spoke softly and lovingly, “it’s alright, you don’t have anything to apologize for. I’m here to listen if you need me to, and if not- I’m here to sit with you for now. It’s okay, trust me.”

    Lilium nodded in response, removing her hands from her face and wiping her eyes. She took a breath, and attempted to retain some composure as she looked up to meet Faralda’s face for the first time since she joined her. “It’s my father’s birthday.”

    Lilium looked back to the ground, as her composure violently fell away. The tears returned full force, with exuberant exhales of sadness. Her heart began to slow it’s pounding as the heartache slowly released from inside of her person, and relieved the pressure on her soul and on her mind. Faralda had been right, as always; talking about it- merely just admitting the problem at hand had started to help immensely.

    “Oh,” Faralda said in a saddened tone, clearly taken aback by the news, “I’m so so sorry Lilium. I’m so sorry.”

    Faralda rose to sit on both knees, as she reached up to wrap Lilium up in her arms. The warmth of her mentor’s cheek on hers brought her comfort, and she returned the hug almost immediately. Lilium buried her face into her shoulder, letting her emotions flow out of her body freely and with it, gaining some semblance of comfort.

    “It’s the first birthday he’s had since he’s passed,” Lilium said painfully, muffled by the cloth of Faralda’s robes, “I haven’t thought about how much I’ve missed him until today. It hurts so much, Faralda. So, so much.”

    “I know dear, I know,” she replied softly, “I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through, but it’s okay to feel it. It's not supposed to be easy. I’m here darling. It won’t last forever, I promise.”
    #7 Specter of Death, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  8. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2012
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    Loredas, the seventeenth of Rain’s Hand, the year two hundred and three of the fourth era
    Arcaneum, College of Winterhold

    Happy birthday to me, I suppose. Funny that I’ve only been sparingly writing like this anymore. Don’t really feel the urge unless I want to talk to- well, no one. If I’m gonna be honest it doesn’t really feel important, but every now and then I feel like my father might be reading. Though I hope he doesn’t. I’m not proud of my last entry. I didn’t do him right.

    I’ve been reading a lot lately. Practicing too. I haven’t felt super interested in lectures as of late, they all feel mundane- like reviews rather. I don’t like to sound full of myself, and this statement makes me feel like I do; but I feel like I have already learned most of the subject matter. There are the occasional one or two that really get my mind working, but those have been few and far between. No more than once or twice a month. None this month so far. It makes me question if I have anything left that I can learn from the masters. I know I do of course, but- I don’t know. It all feels so dry.

    I think it might be due to the new “management”, if you can even call it that. Savos was killed, as was Mirabelle. The College was in shambles, but now it’s like the wounds have healed over. Well, at least it’s functions. Perhaps that’s why everything has felt so off lately; the masters are still in mourning over their friend and master. And the “Dragonborn” hasn’t really filled the shoes he’s left open. His absence is probably exactly why everything has been so dry, but I don’t truly know. I’m certainly not about to ask the masters. Maybe Faralda?

    I’m not going to dwell on that, though. I have been since it all happened, and I think today is the day I should stop it. Let’s call it a gift to myself, I suppose. I also suppose today is one of the days I should be taking it “easy”. Not really sure what that means though. It doesn’t feel normal to just do nothing for ten minutes, let alone all day. At the same time, I’ll feel guilty if I don’t. My first birthday away from home, and without my father- it feels like I’d be letting him down if I didn’t celebrate at least a little. But what the hell am I going to do? All there is to do here is read, study and practice. Winterhold township is boring, and has nobody or anything fun. Faralda is my only friend, she’s- actually I think that’s my solution.

    Certainly Faralda will know what’s fun to do here. Maybe. It’s gotta be noon by now, so she should be done with her lecture of the day. I suppose there’s no better time.


    “It’s not that bad down here, right?”

    Faralda’s words met Lilium’s with a sweet bouncy tone. The black sands beneath her feet and the icy, salted air filled her heart and her head with joyful reminiscence. The Sea of Ghosts was nothing like that of the western seas she remembered as a child, but it carried it own unique charm. She had never thought about this part of Winterhold, far below the city itself. Sitting at the base of it’s cliffs. Not bad at all.

    “It’s eerily gorgeous,” Lilium spoke shortly, still taking in and processing the sight that lay ahead of her.

    “Right? I remember the first time I saw the ocean from this perspective too,” she called, walking eastward, with a cheerful skip in her step, “let’s go birthday girl, we’ve got a short walk!”

    Lilium grinned, looking at her boots blending into the dark sediment beneath before she turned to skip and catch up with her friend. Quickly she met her pace, and joined her in scanning the ground ahead of them as they walked, in search of shells and other knickknacks. Faralda grabbed her by the arm, stopping them both in the path that she was once leading them on.

    “Look,” she said in a half whisper, gesturing out north. Beyond her guiding arm, the dark grey ocean was dotted with blue crystalline giants that seemed to glow in the light mist that encapsulated them. The bright blue sky was the perfect highlight to the ghostly shapes, bringing their glowing structures to life where they sat. “Well?”

    Lilium grinned with pleasure, before looking down and grabbing a smooth and flat rock she had been eyeing moments before. "Pretty," she spoke dryly.

    She threw the rock with a gliding motion, skipping it across the water impressively far. It's eliptic form seemed to disappear as it grew farther and farther away from them, dancing away out of view. The circular ripples that it left behind blended with the gentle wake, and brought more life to the sight than there was before.

    “It’s peaceful,” she spoke once more, standing straight without breaking her gaze at the view, “I didn’t think I’d be able to enjoy not...not studying enough.”

    Faralda giggled lightly, setting her right hand on Liliums left shoulder with a slight lean, “well we need to get out a little more often then. I’m glad you like it.”

    Lilium grinned, and looked up at Faralda, whose gaze had returned to the view ahead of them. Her face matched the feeling Lilium had in her own stomach: peace. It brought the thoughts of thinking, the urge to read, and the itch to practice to a low and almost unnoticeable whisper. The quietest it had been in all the months she had spent on the grounds of the school. She was glad it was her friend that was here to share it with her, and the only one who knew what this day was to her.

    “Does everything up there feel-,” Lilium started, getting caught up in her own words, trying to find the best way to express exactly what she was thinking.

    “Bland?” Faralda inserted the rest of her question for her, “Drab? Flat?

    “Yeah,” Lilium finished the thought, lowering herself down to sit on the ground, “I was gonna say dry, maybe. But that feels too, well- too literally.”

    Faralda joined her at her side. Together they sat, comfortably close. Something Lilium had quickly become accustomed to. The sisterly and almost maternal relationship was comforting to her, especially in her adjustment to life alone and in mourning her father.

    “Things are definitely different now,” Faralda continued, “losing Savos was one thing, but Mirabelle? That...that’s hit everyone pretty hard.”

    Lilium leaned into her mentor, setting her head on her shoulder with a nudge and exhaling in comfort. “Were you as close with her as Tolfdir and the others?”

    “Not quite,” she replied, playing with sand idly in her hands as she stared ahead, “I came to the College pretty long after she and the others did. Of course, they all didn’t arrive at the same time either, Tolfdir mainly. He arrived before us all, but by the time I arrived they had all already fit themselves together as their own little group. That’s not to say I didn’t have a relationship with her. They’re all my friends, and maybe even family. But Mirabelle... Mirabelle was always the best of us.”

    Lilium lifted her head, and gently rubbed Faralda’s back in comfort, as the words they shared naturally flowed from their minds and into the open. It was as natural as breathing, or as the waves that crashed ahead of them, even despite the difficulty the subject may have been.

    “What do you mean, the best?

    Faralda grinned shortly, before letting out half of a sigh. “She set the example, gave us all something to reach for. She sort of led us all toward taking on the roles of masters and teachers.”

    “That’s why Savos made her his Master Wizard then,” Lilium filled in the blanks within her own mind.

    “Yep,” Faralda looked at her fiddling hands, “truly the best of us.”

    “I’m sorry Faralda,” Lilium apologized softly, setting her head back down on her mentor’s shoulder. This time tightly, as she wrapped her arm around her in a half hug.

    "It’s alright,” she sniffed, regaining what little composure she may have lost, “she died the way she always hoped she would. Defending her home. Fighting for all she believed in. Protecting those she cared about and believed in most. I think we can all take some comfort in that at some point. It’s gonna take them some time... Longer than I. I’d like to think I’m over it, but, it’s still a little fresh. And this new Archmage. Well that’s not helping in the least.”

    Lilium nodded simply, uttering a slight hum of agreeance, “we haven’t seen him since the Eye was removed.”

    “Yeah,” Faralda concurred, continuing the thoughts, “and that was months ago. And honestly, I don’t think we’re going to see him again anytime soon. Which means Tolfdir is left alone trying to keep everybody from running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

    “He’s not doing that good a job either,” Lilium added regetfully, with a slight scowl, “not that he isn’t trying, or that it’s crazy here or anything. You can just tell there’s no direction anymore, you know? No drive or motivation in any of the masters. Even Urag seems lost, and he’s in his own realm of organized perfection.”

    Faralda inhaled and exhaled with concentration, letting herself lean back onto her elbows and began staring into the sky. “Lost might be an understatement. Sure, Savos didn’t give us much direction, but he gave us all we needed; a map, in a way. And Mirabelle was our own little compass. Helped us focus and figure out what our students needed and what would be important to teach.”

    “Yeah,” Lilium agreed halfheartedly, “and a compass isn’t all that great without a map for reference.”

    “Tolfdir isn’t the best compass either,” Faralda said, leading a short shared chuckle between the two, “and now we’ve got all the Nords’ couriers almost killing themselves trying to cross the damned bridge. You know, not once since I’ve been at the College has there ever been a word from anybody in this province asking for assistance. Not once.”

    “I didn’t know that there were any coming right now,” Lilium stated surprised.

    “Mhm, had one this morning try to run passed me after I refused his entry,” Faralda grinned with pride, “threatened him with Urag’s old line ‘I’ll have you torn apart by angry atronachs.’ Turned tail real fast.”

    Liliumed giggled for only a moment, before she looked at her in question, “why are so many being sent up here, what do they want? Has Elisif-”

    “Elisif is the only one we haven’t heard from,” Faralda interrupted, “the rest of them are complaining about nightmares and sleep walking. Stupid plops we can’t be bothered with and exactly what they have wizards appointed in their courts for. They’re not affiliated with or trained by the College, but, I’ve met a couple of them and they’re more than capable to deal with something so minor. It’s pathetic that after shunning us and our practices, they turn to us when they are the least bit worried about things like this.”

    “Don’t you think that might warrant some kind of investigation though?” Lilium challenged coolly and calmly. “They do shun us and don’t particularly like us, so you’ve got to assume that they’ve already made use of their mages. If those stubborn oafs are so desperate as to send messenger after messenger, I mean. I’m not as experienced and might not know exactly what I'm talking about, but, that’s my line of thinking.”

    Faralda stared at Lilium in thought, contemplating the perspective presented to her. “You’re smarter than anybody gives you credit for, you know. Tolfdir and I have been discussing just that as of late. Thank you for bringing me back to the mindset of a wise master wizard through logic and reason. Unfortunately we can’t do anything without our Archmage.”
    #8 Specter of Death, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  9. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2012
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    Sundas, the tenth of Frostall, the year two hundred and three of the fourth era
    Sleeping Quarters, College of Winterhold

    Things are a little hectic and weird here now. If I were careless I may go as far as to say that’s the reason I haven’t written. But that wouldn’t be even the slightest bit true; I’m just lazy I suppose. At least when it comes to writing in this thing, anyway. Lately with everything else I’ve been anything but. I’ve been running around the college from floor to floor, section to section. From master mage, to master mage passing on information from our new Master Wizard.

    Faralda’s dream finally came true a few months ago, FINALLY. And she is taking it incredibly seriously. She’s been using me as her own personal aid, passing along information and direction from her, as she slowly tries to set things straight in the College again. Tolfdir isn’t a bad Archmage either, he’s been doing more and being more involved in everything than Savos ever was. Certainly more than our recently resigned failure of an Archmage.

    Today though, today I have decided I deserved to sleep in a few hours. I haven’t slept enough or even partially well since summer’s end. I needed a catch-up. I can already feel that the bags that were once under my eyes have faded today. That probably won’t last long.

    Being busy in this sense does have it’s perks though. I think I know more “private’ information than all the master mages, and I’m not sure why that is. But I think it might just be Tolfdir and Faralda attempting to contain any panic the information may cause. Faralda trusts me with her life, and I guess that means Tolfdir does as well- given the trust he has in Faralda. She’s told me about how the nightmares and complaints about “dark happenings” have only become increasingly more worrisome with every messenger that comes to our gates.

    Yes, I said gates. They couldn’t keep people from coming onto the bridge anymore, so Tolfdir decided that they would just lock the gates again - this time with people taking turns on guard duty.

    Anyway, apparently these dark occurrences that have been happening in the holds has destroyed the usefulness of the court wizards, because apparently the nightmares and sleepwalking landed them in the dungeons of their cities. According to Faralda, they have been wandering into people's homes and lashing out in sudden unwarranted fear. Lot’s of killing. Which is unfortunate. With all of this information in mind, Tolfdir and Faralda have refused to send an investigative party, as they aren’t sure what one mage can do- and are afraid to lead our mages to the same fate as the court wizards. Like mages might be the target of whatever is going on. And if they were to send a mage with the direction to hire and acquire help in their investigations, they aren’t sure there are any mages capable of successfully and confidently putting together the right combination of help.

    Can’t say I disagree. The master mages are all hermits, and often avoid talking to anyone outside of the College. The apprentices are all inexperienced, and are either socially awkward or afraid of talking to people. I’d venture to say the only one competent enough to get it done right would be Faralda. But she can’t leave the damned College, not without the entire thing falling apart again.

    I guess our hands are tied. I hope the Jarls can come together and work something out between themselves. They’ve got to be able to deal with this. I would hope so, anyway.

    Time to go see Faralda now, Apparently her and Tolfdir have some new news and ideas I need to be spreading. I wonder how much they are finally planning to share with the others.
    #9 Specter of Death, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  10. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Forum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2012
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    This story has concluded! It's on its way to be continued in a new tale and adventure.

    Check out the RP "In the Name of Aetherius" created and managed by me, and starring the wonderful writers @Zelda, @Sweetroll76, and @Snoball.

    Thank you for reading!
    • Winner Winner x 1
    #14 Specter of Death, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

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