The Divine Champion
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September 19th, 2012 (5:02 PM).
Uh, I didn't do it
Et tu, Brute?"
Almost seven years ago, in Elsweyr…
Shiara smelled of spices and her laugh was like a chorus of bells. He was young and she was his world.
The door slammed behind him as he took Shiara's hand. He heard his father's curses stabbing into his back as they left. "We will leave," Malik said as they rounded the corner he pulled her along into an alley. He took her hands in his and stared into her golden eyes. "We will leave, maybe go to Rimmen, or maybe even into Cyrodiil." The moonlight made her white and grey fur look almost silver in the moonlight, making her glow in the night.
She looked down. "What about my family? Mal, what about your father?
Malik shook his head. "What about
?" Shiara sniffed. He leaned in and rested his forehead on hers, trying to close the world away. He knew this was going to be hard for her. "Forget my father. From now on it's only you and me." He gently raised her chin so he could look into her eyes. "I love you."
He heard angry voices coming from the street. "We need to go," he sighed. He took her hand again and led her through the small village. They moved quickly and silently. The end of the village was in sight, but the road was blocked by three of the Imperial guard. "What is this?" he growled.
"Malik, son of Ramar'jo, you're under arrest for treason and assisting a rebel faction," the Imperial soldier said, his voice emotionless. But his bare steel spoke more loudly than words ever could.
He growled loudly. He drew his axes, one in each hand. "Shiara, go now!" he called, but was shocked to find that she wasn't moving. In fact, she didn't look scared at all. "Shiara," he said, not wanting to believe what he was thinking.
"No," he said softly, his voice heavy. "You…"
She shook her head. "I'm sorry."
"No," he repeated, his heart sinking.
"Drop the weapon, cat."
"NO!" he roared, putting power behind his voice, a true roar. The Imperials were buffeted by his sudden outburst and hesitated. Malik charged, burying one of his axes into the chest of the first Imperial with ease. The second charged him, but Malik, being Cathay-raht, towered over them. His size and strength alone put the Imperials at a severe disadvantage, and at this point, he was fueled by pure rage. He let the beast within take over. He parried the attack and then cut the Imperial's arm off. He grabbed the Imperial by the head and threw him into the wall, where his head collided with it with a sickening crunch. Only the commander was left. The officer charged, but was too slow. Malik parried the blow, twisting his axe and disarming the Imperial. Then Malik nearly cleaved his head in two.
Breathing heavily, Malik turned. Blood covered his chest, crimson against his orange and black fur. He froze when he saw Shiara still behind him, frozen in fear. Malik collected his second axe from the body of the first Imperial, returning both his weapons to their holsters. He turned to Shiara, towering over her, their chests inches from each other. With a bloody hand he gently lifted her chin so that he could look into her eyes one last time.
"Malik, I-"she started. He shook his head. She shook hers, tears welling in
her eyes. "You father…" Alarm bright in his eyes, Malik stepped away from her. While he was fighting they were attacking his father. Without giving her a second glance Malik ran back the way they'd come.
Shiara smelled of spices and her laugh was like a chorus of bells. He was young and she was his world.
When he arrived his heart sank. The door was broken down. As Malik stepped through the threshold he realized he was not alone. A small squad of Imperial Legionnaires, including the Legate himself, and the Thalmor ambassador were there surrounding his father, who was on his knees and bound. By the time Malik could draw his axes the soldiers already had their weapons drawn and pointing at him. He was trapped.
The Legate's armor shined in the candle light, making light's dance on the ceiling. His plumed helm covered his face. The Legate ignored Malik and continued speaking with his father. "Ramar'jo, you are under arrest for the act of treason. You will be tried by the courts of Rimmen to decide your sentence."
"So be it," Ramar'jo said, his voice only a whisper. "I know you are only a dog, Legate," he said, his voice growing stronger, he looked at the Thalmor, "trained to heed your master's commands."
"Father," Malik whispered. Even now his father tested the patience of the Empire.
His father smiled. "You came back, cub. Remember today. Remember what I fought for, my son."
The Thalmor growled. "Enough of this," he said harshly. He drew his sword.
The Legate stepped in the way of the Thalmor. "What do you think you're doing?" he accused.
The Thalmor pushed the Legate away. "I'm finishing this before it gets out of hand." At that the Thalmor raised his blade, and sank it into Ramar'jo's chest. The old Khajiit shuddered once and fell to the ground, unmoving as black blood pooled beneath his body. Malik let out a cry of pain as his father fell to the ground. His heart not believing what he was seeing.
The room froze. Even the soldiers blocking Malik at the door lowered their weapons. The Legate looked at the lifeless body, and then he glared at the Altmer, his anger obvious. "What the **** was what?!" he yelled, pointing at the dead Khajiit.
The Thalmor sneered. "Your job."
The Legate took a deep breath, and removed his helm, revealing a young black-haired Imperial with green eyes. He pointed at the High Elf. "That wasn't what I came here for," he spat. "I came here to issue the Emperor's justice, not commit murder!"
"Justice is swift, Imperial," the Thalmor said impatiently, "I suggest you remember that."
"You bastard!" Malik growled. The growl was loud and long as he stood. He was ready to tear both of them to pieces with his claws.
The Legate turned to Malik. "I'm sorry; this isn't how it was supposed to happen." He faced the Altmer and thrust his helmet into the mer's hands and turned away toward the door.
The Thalmor laughed. "Your father was right, Legate Cato, you are a lost cause."
have mercy on you," the Legate said solemnly. Then with amazing speed the Legate Aventus Cato drew his sword and plunged it into the chest of the Thalmor agent. The Elf gaped at the sword in his chest. "Justice is swift," the Legate echoed as the Thalmor fell off his blade and fell to the ground, dead. The Legate looked at Malik, who was frozen in shock. "Run," he said quickly, "get out of the country." Malik hesitated. "GO!" the Legate ordered.
Malik never looked back.
Shiara smelled of spices and her laugh was like a chorus of bells. He was young and she was his world.
Malik was starting to think that perhaps he should have listened to the Dragonborn's suggestion of a coat. Malik shivered slightly as he crossed the road to the inn. The Khajiit caravans were settled outside the city, and not permitted within its limits, and, despite his assertion to the town guard that he was not a member of the caravan, he was forced to camp with them. The wind was blowing fiercely, and the chill nipped at his nose as he began to jog to the door. Warm relief greeted him when he stepped inside, and his ears were deafened momentarily as they adjusted to the lack of wind inside. The hearth was roaring, but the inn was mostly empty, even the Nords knew better than to leave their homes in a blizzard. The Khajiit probably knew better too.
, he thought with a chuckle,
what does that make me?
The inn keep glared at him as he stood stooped in the doorway, his head and shoulders covered in cold, wet snow. "Good afternoon," he greeted as he shook his head and brushed off his shoulders, letting the slop fall to the floor. The inn keep's glare became more heated than the hearth fire. Raising a brow Malik glanced at the now puddle at his feet. "I can clean this if you wish," he offered, embarrassed.
The inn keep shook her golden head. "It's not the water I'm worried about; it's the smell of wet fur."
Malik gave her a pointed grin. "Better than the special last night," he mused.
"What was that delicacy? skeever surprise?"
She frowned. "It was
Malik's grin grew. "I am fooled then. I would have sworn it was skeever. Whatever it was, I apologize that my 'wet fur' intruded upon its odor." The inn keep threw her hands in frustration and walked into the back room. He was used to criticism from the Nords. The people in Skyrim were not used to seeing Khajiit, especially one that did not travel with the caravans. Many thought that those who weren't with them were thieves and beggars.
Ignoring the angry inn keeper, he saw a familiar figure waiting for him. His heart beat a bit faster as he saw the former Listener of the Dark Brotherhood. Of course, that's not who he recognized the Imperial as. No, he remembered him from many years ago. He was barely an adult at the time, but he would never forget that man, the man that was there the night his father died, the ignorant Imperial Legate that followed his commands without really understanding them; Legate Cato, loyal to a fault.
The failed rebellion that no one would ever know existed,
he mused to himself, and his father was the head of it. This man might not have killed his father, but he might as well have. But Malik also knew that if it weren't for this man, he wouldn't be alive.
The Imperial smiled and nodded in greeting, then offered his hand. Returning the smile Malik took it. "All goes well, my friend?" Malik asked.
The Imperial nodded. "Since the Purification, yes."
Does he really not recognize me?
"That is good," Malik said with a soft smile as he started to make his way down the hall to where he knew that the Dragonborn had planned to meet. Cato followed alongside him. "So, fancy armor you wear."
Cato grinned. "Should be, I got it from a daedric prince after all."
"Really? Must be some story."
"You have no idea," Cato said with a laugh. "I only had to uproot the entire Thieves Guild to uncover a plot to destroy it from the inside. Then I had to sign a contract using my soul. "
Malik raised a brow. "Like I said, some story. You should tell it to me some time."
"When this is over, of course."
They were stopped by Lydia, who had taken up a guard's position outside her Thane's door. Ever since her injury the Nord woman had taken her task of guarding the Dragonborn to new heights. She never let the poor man from her sight. Just as the other Nord, Ralof, never let her stray from his. Malik knew a love triangle when he saw one; just maybe this one hadn't made itself obvious to the three involved. But he had decided not to mention it. After all, it wasn't his place.
She was wearing her steel armor, and her hand was resting on her blade.
"Lydia," Malik said with a smile.
"Malik," she responded, her face a stone. Giving her one last pointed grin he stepped through the door, but was surprised when he didn't find Cato following behind him anymore. He turned and found Lydia square in the doorway, blocking Cato's path. Both their faces were stone.
"May I enter?" Cato asked politely, stepping back to give the obviously angry Nord her space.
Her hand gripped her sword in earnest. "Over my dead body," she growled.
Sighing, Malik took a few steps back to her, and rested his clawed hand on her shoulder gently, chuckling softly. "I don't think you remember who you're talking to," he said slowly, his voice low. Cato gave him a death glare from the hallway. Malik shook his head, becoming serious. "He is an ally, Lydia."
Malik could almost feel the anger radiating from her. "After everything the Brotherhood has done to us? Attacking the Dragonborn? Ralof? He can't be trusted!" She didn't take her eyes off the former Listener as she said it, her eyes staring into his eyes with hate.
"I wasn't the one who attacked him," Cato argued.
"But you paid the one that did," she growled. Cato shook his head in silence.
"Not only that, but you're Thieves Guild now too?"
Now Cato stepped forward, fueled by frustration. "I am here to help Dragonborn," he said, pointing at Lydia, "not to explain myself to you."
Lydia stepped forward. Cato was large for an Imperial, but the Nord woman still stood even with him, enough so that he was pushed out of the way when she moved forward. She drew her blade, so that the raw steel could be seen, a threat. "You might have fooled Revak," she hissed, "but not me." Giving him one last glare she stepped aside, letting the Imperial finally enter. She followed him inside.
They found Revak already chatting with Ralof. The Dragonborn stood when he saw the three of them enter. He gestured for them to take a seat. They did so, save for Lydia, who stood by the interior doorway after shutting it behind them.
. Malik couldn't help but catch the brief eye contact between Lydia and Ralof. He chuckled to himself.
"Thank you for coming," the Dragonborn began his voice soft and low. "I thought we should we should decide upon the next course of action."
"Meeting with the Blades?" Cato suggested.
Revak shook his head. "No, we will not go to Karthspire yet. Sky Haven Temple will still be there. No, I came north to seek advice from the College of Winterhold. "
"To stop the dragons?" Ralof asked. "What could the mages have to stop the dragons?"
"Specifically one," Revak explained. "Remember Helgen? The dragon that attacked?"
Ralof nodded solemnly. "The black one."
"Yes, that was Alduin. He is not just any dragon, he is a sort of… god. He is meant to destroy the world. Legend says he was made by Akatosh in the beginning, but instead of destroying the world, Alduin sought to control it. "
"You're fighting against a god?" Lydia said from the door. Malik agreed. It
Revak shrugged. "It's been debated on whether Alduin is indeed a god, or a tool gone rogue. Either way he needs to be stopped." Revak shook his head. "Alduin's true power comes from Sovngarde, where he devours the souls of the warrior dead for power. The soul ceases to exist and it gives Alduin strength. Even Sovngarde isn't safe."
"How do you even plan to stop this thing?" Malik said slowly, not quite believing what the Dragonborn was proposing. Killing a god? Who were they to do such a thing?
"Only a Dragonborn can defeat him. I can use the power of the dragons against him, just like the Dragonborn long ago, but they only defeated him. I plan to kill him."
"Using what?" Cato asked, leaning back in his chair.
"A Shout," Revak said simply.
"A Shout?" Ralof repeated. "That's all you have? I know the power of the Voice is one to be reckoned with, but against a dragon god?"
"The Dragonborn of old used it to stop Alduin once before. I need to learn it."
"What about the Greybeards?" Lydia said quickly. "You went to them didn't you? Wouldn't they know it?"
Revak shook his head. "No. Even their leader doesn't know. They lead me to this point."
Cato leaned forward. "What about the Blades?"
"I haven't seen them since Delphine and I went our separate ways after Kynesgrove. The words to the Shout were lost in time. I need to learn it from those who made it; the ancient Dragonborn. And I will have to use and Elder Scroll to do it."
"The Elder Scrolls disappeared when the Thalmor tried to take them from the White Gold Tower," Malik remembered aloud, "no one knows where they are."
"No," Revak defied, standing up. "There has to be a way to find one."
The group was silent in thought. Then Cato stood a foolish grin on his face. "I know where there might be one that the Thalmor haven't gotten a hold of." The others looked at him to urge him to continue. "The predecessor at the Guild, he had an affinity for rare items, things to use as treasure, not for sale. He kept a record, a list of rumors. It's in my safe at the Cistern."
"There is an Elder Scroll on this list?" Revak asked.
Cato nodded. "I planned on going after it myself someday."
"Wait," Ralof interrupted with a raised brow, "how in Oblivion did the
find where an Elder Scroll is?"
"If the stories I hear are true they
steal one before," Revak said.
Cato nodded again. "Yes, around the Oblivion Crisis. The Gray Fox managed to steal it."
Lydia grunted. "Of course he did," she said under her breath.
Ralof smiled at her, and then turned to Cato again. "So where is the Elder Scroll they had?"
"No idea," Cato said with a shrug. "Disappeared with the rest I would guess. I don't know how Gallus figured out where this one was, but he did. I can't really ask him with him being you know, dead."
Lydia rolled her eyes at the Imperial. "Charming."
"Enough," Revak ordered as he turned to Cato. "Where is it?"
"A Dwarven ruin called Alftand," Cato answered. Malik fought back a hiss. Dwarven ruins were not high on his list of places he'd happily volunteer to venture. They were full of strange traps and machines, and if he believed any Nord adventurer, full of spinning blades of death.
Revak nodded like it made sense. He paced for a moment. "I know where that is. East, into the mountains." He paused for a moment, listening to the sound of the storm outside. "I leave when the storm stops." He had a point there. Storms like the one going on outside could last for a week in Skyrim.
Lydia was the first to protest. "You mean '
"Lydia," he faltered, "I-"
"Have been running around the countryside for months, while I sat either in an empty house or in
," Lydia hissed. "I'm not leaving your side this time,
"Neither am I," Ralof said as he stood. He looked at Revak, his eyes fierce with determination. "It started with us Revak, remember? Helgen started this. That dragon, this Alduin, needs to be stopped, and I will be at your side just like when we faced death at the hands of the Empire, we'll face it again together."
That and you want to stay as close to Lydia as physically possible
, Malik thought with a grin.
Cato nodded. "And I promised Delphine that I would help you any way I could, and besides it's not like I've got much else to do. Bryn can take care of the Guild for now. I never betray a promise."
Loyal to a fault
, Malik thought again.
Lydia gave him a look. "A thief with honor?"
Cato smirked. "Not as rare a creature as you think."
"I will follow as well," Malik added. "Someone needs to put your internal organs back when some Dwarven contraption disembowels you."
That and I want to keep a close eye on the former Legate.
Lydia smiled at him, he returned it. They had become good friends while he tended to her injury. They were nothing more than friends of course, despite Malik's constant innuendos.
Revak look touched. "It's dangerous."
"So is taking a piss on a windy day," Malik scoffed. Revak smiled softly. Malik smirked. "We know the risks, Dragonborn. You may be the only Dragonborn, but that doesn't mean you have to stand alone."
"I know," Revak admitted, "thank you."
Ralof put a fist over his heart. "It is an honor, Dragonborn."
Lydia put a fist over her heart as well. "Talos guard us."
Revak smiled widely.
Ralof sat up with a sigh. His room was dark, save for the crack of light coming from ajar door. He swung his legs over the side, his bare feet hitting the cold wooden floor. He rubbed his eyes. He just couldn't sleep. Anticipation welled within him; he was too excited to rest. He shoved his boots on, and made his way to the hallway.
The inn was quiet. No visitors would dare leave wherever they were during a blizzard. You could freeze to death, get lost, or, more recently, attacked by a dragon. It seemed as though he was the only one that couldn't sleep, or at least that was what he thought until he saw a familiar figure standing outside Revak's door. There Lydia stood, still in full armor, like a sentinel.
He smiled. "Lydia," he joked, "I doubt anyone is going to come for Revak during a blizzard." She shrugged. Ralof shook his head. "Have you slept at all tonight?"
"No," she admitted.
"Ah," he said with a small smirk, "and what use would a half-awake housecarl be in a fight?" Her response was a grunt. Ralof leaned on the wall across from her and slid down it. "Fighting dragon gods, finding Elder Scrolls, travelling with huge cats and assassins," he said with a sigh. "What have we gotten ourselves into?"
There's that beautiful smile
, Ralof thought, returning the smile. "It's more exciting than being a Whiterun guard, that's for sure."
Ralof raised a brow. "You were a guard in Whiterun?"
She nodded. "At least until I got removed from duty." Ralof motioned for her to continue. He almost thought he saw her blush, but it was too dark to see for sure. "It wasn't my fault. I got into too many fights, with other guards, citizens, jerks at the bar," she said, counting off on her fingers. "Soon the captain just let me go, saying that I was one of the best fighters he'd ever seen, but that there was only so far he could cover for me."
"Wait," Ralof began with a chuckle, "so you just started fights with people."
She shook her head. "No, they were criminals, most of them; at least I knew for sure some of them were. But apparently I was too rough when it came to arresting them."
"Like the man who was killing his neighbor's chickens," she explained.
Is that the blush again?
"I punched him in the face."
Ralof was taken aback. "You hit a man for killing chickens?"
"He was being arrested for killing chickens," she explained further. "He got
because he took the opportunity to grope me while we were bringing him to the jail." She paused. "I broke his nose actually, and knocked out a tooth," she thought back fondly.
Ralof shook his head. "You city folk are strange, so much crime."
"Where are you from?"
"Riverwood," he said softly. Thinking of Riverwood, of home, made him think of his sister's family. He doubted his sister was alive, and his nephew. He had heard that he was in an orphanage, but he couldn't trust the Empire. He would find out what happened to them, no matter what the cost.
Lydia seemed to pick up on his distraction. "I'm sorry," she said sadly. "Hod was a good man. I…" She paused. "I'd probably be dead if it weren't for him.
He was your brother-in-law?"
Ralof nodded solemnly. "He was a good man, a kind man. I was proud to call him my brother."
Lydia nodded. "What about you? Do you have any more family?"
"No," Ralof said, shaking his head. "Gerdur was my only family left, the rest either were killed or died young." They were quiet for some time. "You really should sleep, Lydia."
He rolled his eyes and returned to his room. If he couldn't sleep he might as well be of use. He quickly put on his armor, strapped on his axe and belt, and made his way back to Lydia, who looked at him with wide eyes when she saw him in full armor.
"What is this?"
Ralof smiled. "Your relief."
"My what?" she said.
"Just go to sleep," he said.
"I'm fine," she said stubbornly.
"Please? I can't sleep anyway," Ralof said softly.
She smiled. They held the connection for a moment before the stubborn housecarl let him relieve her of her post. But she paused before making her way to her room. "Is that an Amulet of Mara?" she asked, a huge smiled beaming on her face.
Embarrassed, Ralof pushed it back into his armor. He must have forgotten to hide it beneath like he usually did. "Umm, I, uh" he mumbled. She made her way slowly down the hallway, before getting to her door. She gave Ralof a small smile before closing the door.
The rest of the night Ralof was grinning ear to ear.
Revak was torn. He didn't want to lead these people to their deaths, or otherwise. But on the other hand, he knew that he needed strong people around him to accomplish what he needed done. He sighed. The most frustrating part of being a god was not being able to help the mortals without intruding upon their free will. If a god stepped in and made everything better, then would they really be the same people they were before the god stepped in? Think of a blizzard. It was dangerous and damaged property. It was cold and uncomfortable. If a god were to come in and take every bad storm away, make it perfect weather all the time, then the Nords wouldn't be the hearty, strong people they were. Nords were the children of the North, of the cold and the harsh.
This always gave Talos an interesting perspective as a god, because he lived as a man once before. He knew the struggles that were survival. He would even admit wondering what the gods were for, besides watching. Then he became one. He learned the limits they had, the sacrifices they made for the world. The Aedra didn't just make the world. They sacrificed their own power to create it. The gods were willing to do more than watch, but they just
. It was a fact. Their energy wasn't theirs, it belong and existed in the mortal world. In fact, Revak knew that it was this energy that he called upon when he channeled his Divine Aura. Even that energy was limited. But he could do more as a man than he ever could as a god. As a god he was mostly a voice on the Pantheon, here he could use his words to alter actions, or if it was needed his blade. The gods didn't pity the mortals, they envied them. Revak remembered the determined faces of his friends as they agreed to help him on what might be called a suicide mission. These were the sort of people that would make the gods jealous.
The storm had ended three days ago. As soon as they were able Revak lead the way down the south road to get to the base of the mountains. The Khajiit caravan loaned them a wagon, which Revak's horse was strapped to. They weighed the wagon down with their traveling gear, tents, and tools; much of it donated with kinds words from the Khajiit. They were a generous people, and perhaps they figured that if they helped the Dragonborn then maybe when a dragon tried to roast them that he would be there to help. Not weighed down with packs they made good time. Like machines as the sun began to fade over the horizon they made camp. Revak took the moment to look at the map. If he was right on the location of the ruin, they would be there within three days, maybe two.
As he left his tent he almost collided with a wall of black and orange fur. Revak smiled up at Malik, who returned with a pointed grin. The behemoth cat put a light hand on Revak's shoulder and guided the Dragonborn to the campfire, where Cato was already cooking. "I found some rabbits," Cato said, stirring the kettle. "I figured a hot stew."
Revak sat on one of the rocks arranged around the fire. "Sounds great."
"Yes," Malik said, taking the seat next to Revak. "But who decided the former assassin gets to cook?"
Revak chuckled lightly, but stopped when he caught Cato's glare. "Because you cat people use Moon Sugar in your food," Cato chided.
Malik shrugged. "Not in
"The only thing dangerous about my cooking is maybe the amount of pepper I use," Cato explained as he handed a bowl to Malik. "But don't tell Lydia I made it. She'll starve herself."
Revak shook his head as he was handed a bowl of stew. Making sure that the others were still engrossed in their conversation he sniffed the broth, checking for poison. It wasn't that he didn't like Cato, but old habits die hard. It never hurt to be cautious. Revak took a sip of the harmless stew. Then he coughed.
Eight Divines and me, that
a lot of pepper
, he thought, grabbing for his water skin.
Revak took a large drink from his water skin, making Cato laugh. "So," he said, whipping the excess water from his lip, "where are Lydia and Ralof?"
Malik smiled like he just won a lottery. "Out on a
Cato shook his head. "Do you have to make everything into
"No," Malik admitted with a shrug, "but the gods gave me a talent. It would be disrespectful not to use it."
"I think it's nice," Revak said with a smile. "They've both been through a lot, it might be a good thing. Are they officially together?"
Malik grunted. "No, but they will be soon, if I have anything to say about it." Revak laughed. The biggest Khajiit in the world, also self-appointed match maker.
"Because of course, you have infinite experience with these things," Cato mused, digging into his stew.
Malik was silent. Revak looked at him with concern, but the Khajiit was hard to read. Instead, Malik set down his still full bowl and marched to his tent. This wasn't like him at all. Revak had never seen him angry, always upbeat and sarcastic, a great warrior, maybe, but never moody. Revak glanced at Cato who shrugged. Revak returned to his meal when he saw Ralof and Lydia returning from the woods. He had a guess that it wasn't just the cold that was making their cheeks red, but he wasn't one to comment.
They finished their meals, and went to bed. Revak was not quite asleep when
Cato came to wake him for his watch. With a grumble, he stumbled out of his tent, glancing over as Cato shrugged his way into his. The fire was still strong, but Revak eyed a small hill. He wrapped his cloak close and ascended. He could still clearly see the camp, but from here, the stars were easier to see.
A few minutes had already passed, when Revak suddenly heard movement from behind him. Immediately his hand went for his blade. He tensed as a large white wolf came from behind the tree across from him. It did not attack. Instead it circled him, looking at him with golden eyes, then its eyes began to glow green. It stopped, staring at him. He was ready to draw his weapon when he heard a voice stopping him. "
." The voice was deep and powerful, yet was musical. It was soft like a whisper in his ear, breathing hushed words. He recognized it as a female voice.
"Who-" Revak began, but the wolf padded forward a few steps.
I know you, Tiber Septim,
" the wolf said as its ears poked forward with curiosity.
His hand stayed on his weapon. "What are you, creature?"
The wolf made a deep growling sound that Revak recognized as laughter. "
I am a wolf,
" it said coyly, stepping even closer.
"Obviously," Revak said sarcastically. "Who are you?"
There are many names for who I am. Dear Talos, surely you recognize me?
" it mused.
Revak thought for a moment. "Kynareth?" he said excitedly. Instead of answering it began to walk away, heading for a thicker part of the forest.
Cursing, Revak followed. He found her sitting in an outcropping. Revak kneeled in front of the white wolf. "Is it you, Kyne?"
The wolf nuzzled his hand. "
"How are you talking to me?"
The wolf looked into his eyes. "
Unlike the Others, who merely helped create and form this world, I am a part of it. Every creature of the wild is a loyal subject, a friend. This wolf was more than welcoming in my possession of her, so long as I keep her safe and return her to her pack. For her, it is an honor."
"It is good to hear from you," Revak admitted. "I've been a bit worried that the Divines had abandoned me."
The wolf looked at him questioningly. "
They have not forgotten you, Talos, or should I say Revak?"
She showed her teeth in a wolf's smile. "
In fact, it is discussion of your situation here that takes up much of the Eight's time as of recently.
Revak was confused. "What is happening, Kyne?"
She showed her teeth in disgust. "
The Eight were not united in bringing you here Talos. At the time they simply followed Akatosh's direction. But now that Alduin has shown himself…"
the wolf whined softly. "
There are those that would want you either dead, or returned to the Pantheon. They may not be able to come to Skyrim themselves, but they have powerful worshippers, all. Tread with care.
"This is insane!" Revak argued. "If they had issue they should have said something in the Pantheon."
You must take care, Talos,
" she warned
. "Now that you've begun to understand your power in this realm… there are consequences in the realm of the Divines."
When you use the power of the Creation that is left latent in the world you weaken those alive in it. You aren't drawing power from just the air and earth, but from those with you."
Revak shivered. "If I take too much…"
The wolf's head lowered. "
Then you can destroy what you are trying to save.
The two Divines were quiet for a few moments. The sun was beginning to shine through the tree line. Soon there was the sounds of wolves howling in the distance. Kynareth stood, the wolf's ears perked forward.
"The wild calls this subject to return home
," she said. She padded forward a few steps before looking back. "
I am with you man-god, take my blessing. The wild will not be a danger to you anymore."
Revak saluted her as the wolf's eyes turned from green to gold once more. The wolf, now itself again looked at him, as if recognizing him, then padded away into the forest as the dawn crept above the trees.
I know I promised some people that big stuff was going to happen in this chapter, and it will. This is only Part One of this chapter. The rest of the chapter is in the works, but as long as it was getting I think that it needed to be split. As it was this chapter was going to be somewhere between 12k to 15k in words. That's just a bit too much and I think it works cutting it off here. Part Two will obviously come soon.
Now why all this 'part' stuff. It WAS one chapter. But I feel that splitting it into two simply works better. But I want the same title and mindset for both. They are meant to flow together, unlike some of the others with which there might have been time in between them. As it is this chapter is over 6,000 words long.
Otherwise, this is a lot of character development. Not only that but we get Malik's first real perspective. Plus maybe a bit of a revelation?
Thanks to Shadowblade911, who's been a big help. He's writing a pretty awesome Naruto fanfic called "Fang and Fox" I suggest you check it out. CABBAGES!
As for my reviewers... Thank you all so much! If it weren't for you guys I would have stopped by now. My friend and I have nicknamed every review 'cocaine' because literally every time we get that email that there's been another review it's like a high for us! Now, only if we didn't get strange looks for exclaiming "I'VE GOT CRACK!" in crowded areas...
Phantom Ex Machina Gaming
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Joined Aug 2011
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