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18+ The Ranger's Quest

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by Hale Loneshadow, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    The story of one Ranger's quest to find the truth, no matter the cost. What starts out as a seemingly straightforward quest ordered by Hale Loneshadow's(tm) honored and respected (adoptive) father, Avalin(tm), turns out to be a lethal, rambunctious journey that takes our beloved Ranger through the Hells and back! Journey with this Ranger as he sets out to right past wrongs, avenge atrocities, save friends, and bring honor to his kinsman's name.
    Journey though...The Ranger's Quest(tm)
    Note: Issues due to this sight force me to post as just one big post for the whole story. Hope you guys don't mind. If it starts working for me soon, I'll spread it out better, promise.
    Also, for those who have RP'd with me before/recently, the first four or so chapters are set about 17 years before Into the Dark and Reforging an Empire RP's. After I finish Part I, then it will jump to the present time.
    Disclaimer: All characters are my own creation, and trademarked by myself. No one is to use my characters names, the story, or any other names/places/settings created by me for personal use on here or in ANY OTHER FORM/FORMAT, unless permission is given by myself. No one is to use my No one is to use my characters names, the story, or any other names/places/settings created by me for monatary gain, or Hale will shoot you with his bow. Thanks :)
    Prelude
    Avalin the Seeker, as he was known throughout the circle of Rangers in Skyrim, had been tracking the wounded Lycan for days now, and he was closing in. Fast. It was pouring rain out in the marshes near Morthal, but nothing would stop Avalin now. I won't let it claim another innocent, he swore to himself. Running with the swiftness of a deer and the surefootedness of a goat, Avalin stopped every few minutes or so to make sure he was still headed in the general direction of the fleeing beast. This particular werewolf could only be classified as a full-bred Lycan; a breed of werewolf whose wolf spirit had merged completely with the human soul, turning it fully into the beast, unable to ever change back. Even in death, Avalin mused.
    Slowing down now as he neared a large cave which he was sure the beast had fled into, Avalin drew his sword, Ebereth, and his silver dagger, Nalhim. Made by high elves, they were blades with various enchantments, but Avalin's true power lay in his Druidic cane; a shaleighleigh. Only those born with innate Nature magic could even fathom the concept of being a Druid. Avalin was one of those few, which, he supposed, was why he was the leader of his particular band of Rangers.
    Suddenly, Avalin heard a low growl, and looked up just in time to see the towering, grey beast, gut wound and all, on top of the small hill the cave was locked into. Letting loose a hair-curling howl, the Lycan flung itself at Avalin. The ranger immediately threw himself sideways in a combat roll, coming up with both blades drawn. As the wolf charged, the ranger attempted to parry the first swipe, but found the beast's other clawed paw sweeping at his face. The werewolf's blow knocked the experienced ranger into the cave itself, and as he attempted to gather enough strength to rise up, the savage beast threw itself onto the ranger. As it opened its maw and descended its head to take a bite out of the ranger's throat, Avalin quickly turned the tables: having held onto Nalhim notwithstanding the wolf's blow, he flipped the knife upwards, blade first...right into the werewolf's throat. The blade went up through its throat, and out through the top of the beast's head, throwing werewolf skull, blood, and brain matter all over Avalin.
    "Well, that was a good time.." Avalin grumbled as he shoved the lifeless, albeit very heavy corpse off of him. Standing up, he took a fast, detailed look around the cave, and perked his ears up when he noticed an odd medley of sounds, not much deeper in. Investigating further, he found a small, lone baby on a bed of the purest green foliage. Indeed, the entire cavern appeared to be a magical Grove of sorts, when one took in how deeply...divine, the whole place seemed to be. Walking with a sense of renewed invigoration, Avalin the Seeker caressed the baby's small head, and he soon found a wide smile turning up his weathered cheeks.
    "Hey little guy...don't worry Avalin's here to help you. Though you've done pretty well on your own...what's this?" Avalin questioned, as the child moved his hand closer to the shaleighleigh on Avalin's belt. "Ha ha, here you can touch it. Just don't go stealing it on me, ay?" As the child grabbed the shaleighleigh, a greenish jolt seemed to run down from the staff, into the babe's body, and back up again. "By the Divines..." Avalin wondered. He had only seen that occur once before...when he first picked up the shaleighleigh. Well now, this WAS an interesting day. Isn't that what you wanted when you set out today?? Seems there's yet another Druid out there, and you just happened to stumble right into him.
    As he looked around the cave, he noticed other signs...signs of the vampires that had obviously been through here not days ago. The main clue being, the vampire tooth that Avalin picked up. He wasn't called the Seeker for nothing. Avalin took note of the blood smears on the walls leading into this small sanctum, and through that and the fact that there were a few packs here way too big to belong to a baby, he deduced that there had once been a family here... And the damned vampires took them. Though how this little one managed to survive, I doubt he even knows.
    Picking up Hale, as that was the first, best name to come to Avalin's mind, the ranger started off back to his main ranger encampment after the gale outside ceased.
    Well, little guy, looks like you're in for quite the life.
    Chapter One: Creatures in the Dark
    "Oy, Peregrin, Ayaden! Get your skeever arses back to the camp! Night's coming, and we need to set up a guard," exclaimed Hale Loneshadow. As his friends grinned and ran back to the Ranger Camp, Hale went over to the night's first pair of watchers. "Delvor, Thrax, you guys need anything before night hits? Extra torch, few more arrows, some bread and water?" he asked of them. "Nah, were good here, Hale, but thanks mate," Thrax replied. "Yeah, I'm alright too," Delvor added, "We'll come get you and Peregrin when the East star reaches the tip of High Hrothgar." "Sounds good, brothers. Take care, and call if you need anything," Hale said.
    Nodding, the two rangers went back to their posts. "Ahh, there you louts are!" Hale laughed as he embraced his two greatest friends. "Time to get some sleep, ay?" "Ha ha, sounds good to me, oh Captain!" Peregrin joked with an overly dramatic bow. Hale smiled and let that one roll off him. Only about a month ago, on his 25th birthday, had Hale been made a Captain of the Northerly Rangers of Skyrim, by his adoptive father Avalin the Seeker, renowned and skilled leader of their particular chapter, if you will. This made him outrank everybody in his chapter, aside from Avalin himself, of course.
    Hale's friends, Peregrin and Ayaden, constantly picked jokes at him for this early promotion, but not one of the ranger's in Hale's chapter held any doubts that he deserved the promotion. After all, Hale was a Druidic ranger, and thus had advanced very quickly in the art of the sword and bow, as well as nature, restoration, and certain aspects of destruction magic. But he did not yet wield the shaleighleigh. That honor was reserved for the chapter's leader, and Hale had nothing but absolute respect for Avalin. The man had given him a new life, after all!
    Retiring to his personal tent, Hale undid the straps of his armor, and curled up in his cot. While he was of advanced rank, his living conditions were no different than those of his brother's and sister's. Everyone in the Rangers were treated with equal respect, and the only ranking were that of a captain and the leader, one of each in all chapters. Hale put his head down, falling asleep thinking of the growing vampire menace, and holding in reserve a slight amount of fear. Why should I be this afraid? I am a Ranger. I am a Druid. We will find the source of this vampiric uprising, and do our duty: protect the innocent, protect the lands. It was a nice thought to fall asleep to.
    Delvor was tired. He knew it, too. That was why they had posted him with Thrax, a man of almost unfailing talent in watching. That was also why, when he saw the shadowy figures moving with inhumane speed through the forest, he thought his eyes were just seeing things. However, ever alert as a ranger, he drew his longbow, and unclipped his knife, just to be safe. Peering out into the darkness as he readied an arrow, Delvor suddenly heard a soft shhhick sound, and quiet gurgling off on his left. Turing around quickly, Delvor quietly called out, "Hey, Thrax you there?" When he didn't respond, Delvor called out again, slightly louder this time. "Oy, Avalin's gonna have your head if you've fallen asleep on watch!" "But, what if I already had his neck?" said a soft, velvety voice behind Delvor. His eyes going wide, and his heart pounding with sudden fear, the ranger knew in a second what was going on: Thrax was dead, and vampires were in the camp. In the manner of a few seconds, Delvor snapped his arrow, turned to try to stake the vampire behind him, and screamed with all of his might, "VAMPS IN THE CAMP! WAKE UP THERE ARE VAMPI--" In a second, his head snapped, suddenly facing his back. As he fell to the ground, death only seconds away, Delvor's last thought was that he should have known there was more than just that one near him.
    Hale woke to the sound of Delvor's plea, and immediately roused the rangers nearest to him. "Wake up, wake up my brothers and sisters! Vampires are swarming the camp! Rise against the vampires, wake up, WAKE UP!" he, Peregrin, Ayaden, and others began to yell. Drawing his sword, Glamring, Hale charged the nearest vampire, who had once been a beautiful mortal girl. With a whoosh, Glamring quickly decapitated the creature of the night. Rolling under a sideways blow from another of the vampires, Hale stabbed it through the chest from behind, and, taking a stake out, stabbed it through its back to its heart.
    Readying a bolt of fire in his left hand, Hale took on a group of three, all of them particularly ancient-looking. One of the vampire's leaped, trying to take on the ranger with an attack from above, but Hale simply sidestepped and lopped the creature's head clean off. It was then that the other two charged, obviously not seeing the ball of fire Hale was clutching. However, they sure saw it when he released the magic, right into the chest of one of the final two creatures. As that one burned to death, screaming the whole time, the third and final one paused long enough to fathom that its partner was dying, long enough for Hale to come in. With a whoosh and thwack, Hale cut the vampire from shoulder to chest.
    As he pulled his sword out of the dead beast's corpse, the ranger did a quick scan of the situation. It looked like the other vampires were either dead, or about to be finished off. Seeing his adoptive father, Hale rushed over to him. "Father, are you hurt? What happened?! How brazen are these vampires to attack our camp!" Hale exclaimed. "Son, I am fine, unhurt. More than we can say for Thrax and Delvor over there," Avalin replied. "While I am truly sorry, we have to figure out WHY they decided to come here in the first place. What kind of stupidity comes along with sanguine vampiris anyways??" Ayaden replied, in her terse, but royal sounding voice. "That is what I am trying to get to. We have much work to do, and you three are the ones I need to be able to count on in this time," answered Avalin. "Of course father," Hale immediately said, "Whatever you need us to do, we are there!" Looking over at his friends, Hale continued. "And I am sure that I speak for these two as well." Ayaden and Peregrin both nodded their affirmation.
    "Good. Because this wasn't just a spur of the moment attack. Vampires everywhere in Skyrim have been acting more brazen, even going so far as to attack in the middle of large cities! It hasn't just been vampires either. There are stories floating around of dark, evil creatures appearing on the borders of outlaying villages and farms, attacking at night and slaughtering many, if not all their inhabitants. There is something larger than just a simple vampire uprising going on in Skyrim, indeed in all of Nirn, and I have reason to believe from my sources that we may in fact be dealing with creatures from beyond the veil, something that has not happened in over two-hundred years. I have marked on each of your maps where exactly these occurances have happened, as well as given you each a name of my sources to gather further information." Avalin paused long enough in his monologue to let the three on them realize where he was going with this. "...And you wish for us to seek these men and women out, as well as try to find out who, or what, exactly is causing this to happen?" Peregrin finished for him. "Exactly. I have an amulet for each of you. It will allow you a unique Druidic spell which, when pressed against any Oak tree, will allow you to communicate with the other two. Now, get some rest, you will leave in the morning."
    "Well, I guess that settles that then?" Ayaden said as she and Hale sat around their small fire, partaking in a cup of wine each. Peregrin had mumbled something about "getting the worst plops jobs", and soon after had fallen asleep in his tent. Ayaden snuggled up against Hale. Surprised, but pleasantly so, Hale looked at her. "Now now, Aya, you wouldn't just be out for a romp because the prospect of unearthing a vampire conspiracy, and leaving tomorrow is nervewracking...would you?" Hale said slyly. Smiling even more coyly, Ayaden stood up and walked towards her tent, motioning for Hale to follow her. They had been partners, both in the field and tent, for some time now. They just felt comfortable with each other, and although Hale knew that she was vehemently against anything long-term, he was just as fine with the short term they had now.

    In minutes, they had begun to tear into each other. "Oh Aya...you always knew my weak spots" Hale muttered. "Mmm...oh by the Divines...mm..ohh" Aya could only gasp and groan as she gyrated on top of him. Her natural, fire-red hair twirled over her and him as her lithe, elven body continued to twist and gyrate. She went faster, and faster, until she was nearing the end. "OHHH by the divines, by sweet Kynareth..mmm...ahh..OH GODS YES!" Aya yelled as she reached the climax.



    **************
    In the morning, the two lovers were rudely stirred from their sleep by a bright flash of sunlight. "Oy, if you two animals ever feel like prying yourselves off of each other, we should probably get on with this whole quest!" Peregrin jokingly exclaimed, jolting them from sleep. "Oh, shove off you little blighter. You're lucky you're almost as good as me at the blade, else I'd cut you down where you yell!" Hale, also jokingly, replied to his closest friend. Laughing, the indeed shorter-than-normal ranger sprang off to ready the horses before Hale's kick could reach his crotch. "We had better get up, lover. No need to keep the vampires living! Er, you know what I mean," Ayaden said to Hale's sarcastic smile.
    After the two had dressed and geared up, the Three gathered around the camp's edges. "Alright, so we all have our initial routes all lined up?" asked Hale. "Yep! I'm gonna be heading down towards Riften, and see if I can't find out anything from the Dawnguard bout the Ralahvir guys, and possibly get their help," replied Peregrin cheerily. "And I will be heading northward, towards the College, and see what I can't stir up on the Morekai coven, and inquire about Auriel's Bow as well," said Aya. "Exactly, my good friends. And I will be looking into the Strigoi clan, the most potent of the three," Hale replied with a grin. He loved a challenge, especially when it came to combating vampires.
    "I will head towards the city of Markarth. There is word of a nest of vampires near there anyways, it will do some added good for both the people, and myself, to ingratiate myself to the current Jarl...especially after our last, er, unfortunate incident there," Hale said, finishing with a slight grimace. "HA! That, my friend, was ENTIRELY your fault! We just got you out of the mess, mate!" said Peregrin as he burst into one of his fits of laughter. "Yes, yes, we all know what happened in Markarth! My point is, killing off a group of vampires will help ingratiate myself to the Jarl and his court, which will in turn possibly garner some information about local vampire covens, and possibly information on the Strigoi clan," explained Hale with a jolt of a smile. "Alright then, we are off!" Peregin said. "Farewell for now, friends! Take care, and good luck. I'm sure we'll all be able to contact each other soon," said Aya. "True. See you on the other side, mates," Hale replied, giving each of them one last embrace, and a quick kiss to Aya, which had Peregrin hooting and making a very lewd gesture with his hips!
    Soon after, they were off, goodbyes all said. Hale had found Avalin, and embraced his adoptive father, thanking him for this opportunity. "My son, the day I found you in that cave, I knew you were to be something special," Avalin choked as he said his goodbyes with his adopted son. "This is your moment, you must seize it and prove to the Elders that I made the right decision in elevating you early. As such, I would like to bestow upon you, an item of great importance which will give you something to have under your sleeve, as it were, during this dangerous quest." As he said this, Avalin unbuckled the revered shaleighleigh, and presented it to Hale. "Father..." Hale started, but Avalin held up a hand and shook his head. "None of that now, if I didn't think you were ready, I sure in Oblivion wouldn't be letting you use it!" "Thank you, Father. You know I will guard it with my life," replied Hale with a serious expression. "That, I know son. It may be small, but it is a powerful artifact indeed. When you are around others who are not your brother and sister rangers, you must keep it secret, and keep it safe. Let only those you trust to the fullest extent know of its existance," Avalin the Seeker impressed upon Hale. "Now, you must be off, while there is still light for the majority of the day. And son?" Avalin asked with a pleading expression. "Yes, father?" Hale inquired. "Please...for the love of Kynareth...don't fluff with Markarth this time."
    With that, Hale was off, alone again, on a mission that would change his very life. Little did he know that the people he would soon meet, would alter his very existence as he knew it.
     
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    Stigweard Ruadhan: 3 Points (Brilliant fare thus far! Really original and well considered story crafting. Thanks for sharing your tale!) Jan 4, 2013
  2. DovahCap

    DovahCap The one cube to rule them all.

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    Oh god, text wall.

    Reading time!
    EDIT - Done reading. Great fanfic.

    Lol'd at his sword's name. Glamring. Glamdring is Gandalf's sword in LOTR.
     
  3. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    Sorry! I'll space it out more. I just got caught up in the writing.
     
  4. DovahCap

    DovahCap The one cube to rule them all.

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    It's fine, text walls are okay with me.

    Most people I know will probably want paragraphs, though.
     
  5. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    Did that, and I made the conversational text a bit easier to distinguish.
     
  6. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    Oh damn. I thought it sounded familiar when I thought of it! Hahah it's my guy's sword in Skyrim and the sword I use in RP's though.
     
  7. DovahCap

    DovahCap The one cube to rule them all.

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    Heh. I use a mod that adds Anduril from LOTR into the game, except I enchanted it and renamed it Telmyrul. :p
     
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  8. meben15

    meben15 Lord of the Meeblings

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    Nice fanfic Hale, I liked the combat parts in particular. It will be ineresting to se this integrate into our rp. And I do that to! Think of names that I have heard before and then remeber were they are from later lol :)
     
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  9. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, mate! Yeah, it's always like deja vu when that happens haha. But yeah, I'm interested too! Hopefully our RP takes a more exciting turn soon :p
     
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  10. DovahCap

    DovahCap The one cube to rule them all.

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    Quick question, why is it rated 18+? Am I to expect smut? I hope not, :p

    EDIT - Ahmygod, I missed a section involving smut.

    Failure.
     
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  11. brovahkin!

    brovahkin! Member

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    Great fanfic, i'm considering writing my own but am only Rping for the moment to get some experience in writing but anyways keep it up :D
     
  12. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    ~Two Weeks Pass~
    Chapter Two:
    "I Do Have Some Experience in Swordplay"
    It had been weeks since Hale had set out on the road, with his sturdy mount, Belthwar. He and that horse had been together for years now, and Hale trusted the horse with his life. Belthwar had even saved Hale on a few occasions.

    A storm front had moved in, so Hale and Belthwar were taking shelter inside his makeshift tent under a rocky outcropping, forming a miniature cave. "Ahh, of course we get this weather, my friend. Guess we'll have to pass through Dragon Bridge tomorrow." The storm wasn't that bad, and honestly Hale felt just as much at home in a rain storm as he did in a snowstorm. He was one with the elements, on a spiritual and, at times, physical level, due to his Druidic bloodline. All Hale wanted, was a little rest tonight from his lengthy and arduous journey.

    As for his companions, he had only been in contact once with them in the last fortnight or so. They had gleamed as little information as he had: other than the rouge group of vampires harassing a farm or town here and there, they had encountered nothing to tie anything together with a larger coven. But we will. Avalin said there should be some sort of forward operations between Markarth and Dragon Bridge, so someone must know something in this town. Probably one of the guards, they seem most likely to have any inside information regarding this sort of thing.

    All of a sudden, Hale's thoughts were interrupted by a medley of terrified screams, and bloodthirsty yells. Being just outside of the town, Hale drew Glamring and immediately mounted Belthwar, urging his stalwart steed to run as fast as he could. In minutes, he was on the edge of town, and what he saw made his blood burn with rage.

    In the middle of town, three women, one holding a small baby, were surrounded by four bandit thugs. Three others were standing on the sidelines, watching over the captive townspeople and hooting their encouragement. So much for a relaxing night...but where are the guards?Hale's own question was immediately answered when he looked farther into town: in the center of the village, four of the guards were skewered on a nasty looking spear, and the other two were being watched over by what appeared to be... Now that's one large, fu*king Orc.


    Holding Glamring out by his side, twirling it almost lazily, Hale strode up to the circle of bandits.
    "Well, good evening to you sirs, although it seems like you've already had your fun. Ah ah, do not think of me as pretentious, for my father once proffered these words of wisdom; 'to each his own'. Although..." Hale traded his sarcastic smile for a, very real, scowl. "I do not believe that the torturing and murder of innocents is any sort of fun for civilized men, now is it?"

    One of the bandits, a hearty Nord male by the looks of it, stepped forward. "Look 'er, mah name's Ragjack, and I here's the leader of these guyses." The obviously uneducated man, strode forward until he was only a handful of steps away from the ranger. "You may be all fancy with yous' edacatered words an' all, but you ain't for knowin' nothin' bout swordplay!"

    With this, Hale could only procure a genuine smile. "My good man, you misconstrue who I really am. While I may look the part of a vagabond, I assure you..." Hale, measuring the distance between him and the man, took a step and a half forward. "I do have some experience in swordplay." In one, fluid motion, Hale twirled Glamring up and around his own head, looping down into a backhand swing that, with a whoosh, cleanly decapitated the idiotic bandit chief. With whoops and hollers, the rest of the group charged right at Hale.

    Parrying a sword thrust from a particularly grubby looking dark elf, Hale turned his blade around and over the bandits sword, coming up into a thrust that drove Glamring right through the dark elf's heart. In the next instant, Hale sidestepped an axe attack from another human bandit, and used Glamring to open the man's stomach. As that one fell to the ground dying and groaning, Hale carried on the momentum of that swing upwards, to cut the neck of the next bandit who was stupid enough to charge him.

    Those seconds were more than enough time for the villagers and remaining two guards to rally. When Hale turned around, he took note of the massive Orc making for his own position, looking like it wanted nothing more than to tear the lithe ranger in half with his own grimy, albeit, strong hands. As such, Hale was pleasantly surprised to see that the two guards that the orc had been watching, take up their fallen comrade's blades and put one each into the orc's kidneys. The orc, not quite dead, attempted to reach around to throttle one of the guards, but only ended up twisting the swords even deeper into its body. With a final, dying yell, the massive creature fell, quite dead, onto the road.


    Well, that takes care of that one at least! Hale mused to himself as he turned to face the final attacker. In the chaos, his two surviving friends were, well, not surviving anymore. When the bandit turned to see his two final allies, skewered by a villager's pitchfork and the other by an axe through the skull, he realized that he was indeed outmatched. The bandit turned and attempted to run back into the mountains. "Ah, ah, none of that now!" Hale called out, as he flipped one of his throwing knives into his palm and, with the flick of his wrist, had it buried in the vagabond's leg, forcing him to the ground with a cry of pain. "Well, now, that settles that, I suppose. Tell me, has anyone in this town seen any dremora of late??" he casually asked the villagers.
     
  13. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    *Five Weeks Pass*

    Chapter Three: Concerning Rangers

    "We pray to our father's

    We pray to our Gods,

    We pray for the road ahead,

    As we take our blades

    And our bows to our fate,

    Oh, Nirn, we are sworn

    To protect"

    Sang Loneshadow as he trudged along the snowy mountain pass, reciting the lyrics he had been taught since he was a child in his father's care, the Song of the Rangers.

    Taking care not to slip upon the treacherous slopes, for any miscalculation would lead to certain death, the Druid Ranger put his back to a cliff face as he cautiously side-stepped along a particularly narrow pathway. Trying not to imagine himself falling to a terrifying and rocky death, Hale slipped along the path until he was once again back on sturdy footing.

    He missed his loyal horse, Belthwar, but he had known it was a necessity to leave him behind in the village. At least he is under the care of a trustworthy man, the Ranger thought to himself, eased in the knowledge that the miller would watch over Belthwar with life and limb. Finding a another, much more climbable cliff facing, Hale quickly discerned the most efficient path to take up to once again reach an even ground. Gripping each rock and making sure they were indeed stuck fast in the cliff, so as to once again avoid a horrifying end, Loneshadow scaled the facing and had pulled himself up in a matter of twenty minutes.

    Pausing to catch his breath and to relax his muscles, Hale found a nice outcropping that afforded both a respite from the biting wind, and a wonderful view of the grassy tundra. Though it was quite bare apart from a few, sparse trees and a tower-like rock in the distance, the Ranger found the scenery to be quite peaceful. Taking out a piece of Elvish waybread, and some strips of dried meat, Hale bid his time while breaking his fast, taking in a sense of serenity and inner peace that he had a feeling he would not find much more of in this particular journey.

    As Avalin had always taught him, Hale took adamant pleasure in the so-called 'little things' that life afforded. He was more than just a highly skilled forest warrior and holy icon to his kinsmen: Hale Loneshadow had been taught well in the ways of the world, from politics throughout Tamriel, the ways of Law, speech, and most of all the many concepts of Philosophy.

    Going deeper into this musing, Hale found it laughable that many of the superstitious folk in Skyrim, and indeed throughout all of Tamriel, though Rangers to be uncivilized, insane wild-men living in the deep forests for no good reason at all, only to butt themselves into business that did not concern them.

    How wrong they were! If only there were ways to convince these people otherwise, tell them the true way of the Rangers, and how much good they brought to the world.

    This was another time where the wise words of his father rang through Loneshadows head:

    "Son, there will always be those who consider our kin to be naught but troublemakers and wild-men," Avalin spoke to a much younger, more naive Hale Loneshadow.

    "But Da, there must be some way we can spread the truth about us! For surely there are just as many people who know what we do!", sprouted a fourteen-year old Hale.

    Smiling, his 'Da' replied, "Oh, but there is a way! But it does not involve speaking until your tongue turns blue, son. It is an old adage passed down from my father, my father's father and possibly beyond. It is, 'Actions Speak Grander Volumes Than Words Alone'. Do you know what that might mean?"

    Thinking for a long minute, squinting his eyes at the ground in though, Hale's eyes lit up as he believed he found an answer.

    "Aha! Does it mean that, not matter how much one speaks, and how silver-tongued he is, that no one will ever really believe him until he actually does something of worth?!" the young Hale practically shouted in growing excitement.

    How proud Hale felt as he watched his father smile wide and nod in affirmation!

    "Exactly, Hale! Exactly! You must remember this as you journey through what will invariably be a long, long life for you, in more ways than one. No matter what happens, my son, to you, to me, to anyone, you must always remember this, and one more thing: That, no matter what, there is always Hope."

    Nodding in appreciation and love for his father, Hale ran forward and threw his arms around Avalin's waist.

    "I will remember it, Da! I remember everything you teach me!" the younger Hale shouted as he hugged his father. "Now, can we go kill some goblins?!"

    Hale smiled at the memory, knowing that his father and kin had indeed taught him well.

    Tearing himself back into the present, the keen-eyed Ranger noticed a strange sight indeed coming from what he had previously though to be a cloister of large rocks shaped like a tower: a gout of what seemed to be purplish-blue flame had encircled the uppermost section of what was now obviously a wizard's tower, though for good or evil Hale knew not.

    Quickly packing the remnants of his broken fast back into his pack, Loneshadow once again felt the gripping urgency that he always felt when something seemed a bit out of place, even in a land steeped in magic and mystery. Pulling his forest-green cloak and cowl over and on himself, the Blessed Druid of Kynareth immediately made for this mysterious tower...
     

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