Skyrim: The Unlikely Companions – Chapter 21

Door dutchinteldude op woensdag 26 oktober 2016 20:36 - Reacties (1)
Categorie: Fanfiction, Views: 602

Jaaaaa \o/ gezien er bepaalde fans zijn die graag weer een hoofdstuk willen lezen hierbij wederom een stukje pracht en praal Skyrim: The Unlikely Companions – Chapter 21

Summary:

“I…was not exactly expecting you to be a dragon.” Ganir apologized and quickly stowed his bow and arrow away.


Nor did I when I first played the Main Quest, but Paarthurnax forgave me for barraging him with fireballs and making a run for it.))


Chapter 21

The enormous mountain that was host to the Greybeards’ monastery was a serene place of solitude. Nevertheless, Ganir received a crude awakening as the snow fell from the slope where he had slept below. His barrage of curses and swearing were muffled under the thick layer of snow that completely covered him.

Tormagg shook his mane as though amused, snorting and scraping its hoof at the pile of snow where his master was buried below, who emerged in a most foul mood.
“You could at least have warned me, you know…” he grumbled, shaking from the cold. He brushed the remaining snow off his shoulders and pulled a fur overcoat out the saddlebag and wrapped it around him to warm himself.It wasn’t until another hour of walking, carefully guiding Tormagg over the stone steps and around the slippery bends that they reached the monastery. He left Tormagg sheltered behind the stone wall of the stairway up to the monastery and laid the fur coat over the horse. “You keep an eye out, will you?”

He then made his way into the monastery after double-checking his bag for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. He had certainly been delayed on retrieving and returning it, but Arngeir would no doubt understand…he hoped.

But Arngeir did not.

When he came inside, Ganir was greeted by the silence of the other monks, of whom he had learned the names: Borri, Wulfgar and Einarth.

He found Master Arngeir kneeling in an alcove, facing the window and looking outside, where the winds howled past. “Master Arngeir, I have returned. I am sorry to have kept you waiting, but I was…delayed.”

For a moment, the old Greybeard remained silent, his old hands clenched into fists. “You did not heed my teachings. You did not heed my wisdom or that of the Way...How dare you show yourself, holding his horn after your cavalier actions?”

“Cavalier?” Ganir repeated questioningly. “My friends were in danger. What else did you expect me to do?! Sit back and do nothing and let them get killed?”

“The winds carry the cries of anguish, bloodshed and death you left in your wake no matter what direction you turn.” It clearly took everything for Arngeir to calmly stand up and contain his temper. “You did not save your friends. You sated your bloodlust. Have you learned nothing of my teachings? You are arrogant, ignorant and I cannot help you.”

Ganir wanted to be angry and argue, but knew the Greybeard was right. He didn’t have to kill the Thalmor that crossed his path in the Embassy. He could’ve knocked them out, but instead, had indulged in the desire for blood and vengeance. He hung his head in shame, shaking as a block of ice sank in his stomach. It wasn’t just guilt, but that overwhelming feeling when one knew someone had done wrong and disappointed one of their peers. To them, Ganir was a complete stranger with the promise of greatness, and he had completely disrespected and disregarded their teachings. He was tired of killing, he had said so many times, but he had done so again so easily.

“Please, Master Arngeir, I am sorry.” Ganir’s voice croaked.

“You are not worth the title,” said Arngeir decidedly, taking the horn from the Dark Elf’s hand. “Your very nature does not permit it. Leave, and do not return. High Hrothgar has no-,”

“Arngeir!” The walls shook in a fashion unlike Ganir had ever experienced before. Master Einarth, who had been silent in meditation nearby had gotten to his feet. With each syllable spoken in the dragon’s tongue, the old man’s chest rumbled, seeming about to burst and bring the walls of the monastery down on them. “Nii los ni fah hi wah komaan. Nii los ni fah hi wah maat. Rok los Dovahkiin. Ven brud mok kolos mu dreh ni tread. Mu los wah aak. Dahmaan hin heyv.”

Ganir had initially raised his arms in defense as the intense force of Einarth’s Voice resounded clear as water and loud as thunder through the monastery and perhaps even beyond.

Arngeir was also visibly shaken. “I…” With a sigh, Arngeir shook his head. “You are right…” He then looked at Ganir, who looked confused and unsure of what had just happened. Einarth gave a small, knowing smile and after bowing his head to him, he returned to his meditations.

Remind me to never end up debating semantics with you…

“Dragonborn…” Arngeir now hung his head in shame. “Please, forgive me. I was intemperate and allowed my emotions to cloud my judgement. Master Einarth is right; the decision whether to help you or not is not mine to make. It is my duty.”

“And I promise I will heed your words.” Ganir was overwhelmed with relief. Whatever Einarth had said, he owed the Greybeard! “I was wrong to ignore your teachings, Master Arngeir.”

“And yet, you spoke with the Blades…did you not?” Arngeir narrowed his eyes, but not necessarily at him, but in distaste of the Blades.

Blades. Making friends in all the wrong places…Ganir sighed. “I have, Master Arngeir. I intend to stop Alduin.”

“Of course. The Blades,” Arngeir spat, but nevertheless motioned for Ganir to follow him outside to the courtyard. “They specialize in meddling in matters they barely understand. Their reckless arrogance knows no bounds. They have always sought to turn the Dragonborn from the path of wisdom. Tell me, Dragonborn, if you wish to learn from us, why would you want to be but a simple tool in the hands of the Blades to be used for their own purposes?”

“You have to believe me when I say that I share your distaste of the Blades,” Ganir cursed the cold. “I’m not their ‘puppet’ as you so eloquently put it.”

“Heed my warning, Dragonborn,” Arngeir gave him a sharp look. “The Blades may say they serve the Dragonborn, but they do not. They never have…” The old Greybeard closed his eyes as the wind brushed past his wrinkled face. Snowflakes were caught in his messy, rough beard, but he did not seem to mind. “Why have you returned, if not for the horn?”

Ganir told Arngeir everything without secrets. He told Arngeir about the dragons he had battled, and about Alduin, with whom he had crossed paths twice now, and how the Blades helped him find out that the Thalmor knew nothing of their return, which led him to Sky Haven Temple. “If the prophecy rings true, Master Arngeir, Alduin will destroy the world as we know it. Surely you do not want for the world to end?”

“What I want is irrelevant at this point,” Arngeir said bitterly. “Have you considered that Alduin was not meant to be defeated? Those who overthrew him in ancient times only postponed the day of reckoning, but did not stop it. If the world is meant to end, then so be it. Let it end and be reborn.”

“That is what you will,” Ganir countered with a sharp tone. After all, a few more winters and you’re dead…“But I do not. We discovered that these ancient …Dragonborns, or whatever they were…they used a Shout to defeat Alduin. Do you know it?”

“I do, but its Words of Power are not known to me for it was lost in time,” said Arngeir. “A loss I do not regret, for this Shout you refer to, ‘Dragonrend’, has no place in the Way of the Voice.”

Ganir furrowed his brow. “What is so bad about Dragonrend…this Shout?”

Arngeir regarded the Dark Elf in a contemplative fashion, clearly conflicted. Finally, he sighed. The Dragonborn would walk his own path and it was best wandered with whatever knowledge and wisdom he could pass on. “It was created by those who had lived under the unimaginable cruelty of Alduin’s Dragon Cult. Their whole lives were consumed with hatred for dragons, and they poured all their anger and hatred into this Shout. When you learn a Shout, you take it into your very being. In a sense, you become the Shout. In order to learn and use this Shout, you would be taking this very evil into yourself. It could and will consume you.”

Ganir had listened to everything the Greybeard told him, but it did not change his mind. He had to stop Alduin. He had faced off against the demonic forces of Oblivion, he had survived all these years as a vampire and made his way to Skyrim. He didn’t want to carry this burden, but if he was too, he would give it his all. “If the Shout is lost, how can I defeat Alduin?”

Arngeir had looked up at the top of the Throat of the World, which was shrouded from view by thick clouds and mist. It is inevitable… “Only Paarthurnax, the master of our order, can answer that question, if he so chooses.”

“Paarthurnax?” Quite an odd name…

“He is our leader,” Arngeir replied. “He surpasses us all in his mastery of the Way of the Voice., but you are not ready. Not until we greet you as Dragonborn and grant you the knowledge required to go see him at the top of the Throat of the World where he resides.”

Ganir followed Arngeir back inside, wondering what he meant, but the other Greybeards rose and followed to the entry hall of the monastery. “It is time for us to formally recognize you as Dragonborn. We would Speak to you…” Arngeir pointed at the stone seal in the center of the entry-hall as the other Greybeards surrounded him. Einarth still smiled at him and nodded.

The Dark Elf was hesitant but stood in the center of the room.

“Prepare yourself, Dragonborn!” Arngeir said. “Few can withstand the unbridled Voice of the Greybeards, but you will emerge unscathed if you are truly ready…”

Wait…!

But the Greybeards spoke and it was as though Ganir got caught in a maelstrom of raw, but controlled power that beat down on him, shoving him in all directions, but keeping him in place all the same.

Their voices united had dust crumble from the ceiling and he was fearful it was about to collapse, but High Hrothgar was strong and built to withstand, shaking with each syllable of the Greybeards’ Voices.

“Lingrah krosis saran Strundu’ul, voth nid balaan klov praan nau! Naal Thu’umu, mu ofan nii nu, Dovahkiin, naal suleyk do Kaan, naal suleyk do Shor, ahrk naal suleyk do Atorasewuth! Meyz nu Ysmir, Dovahsebrom. Dahmaan daar rok!”

He was out of breath and he felt like he had been jostled around by a whirlwind, but Ganir found himself unharmed but shaking. The Greybeards remained silent, unmoving, but smiling.

“Dovahkiin. You have tasted the Voice of the Greybeards, and passed through unscathed,” Arngeir bowed his head. “High Hrothgar is open to you and we shall teach you the Shout so you can make your way up to Paarthurnax.”

Ganir followed the Greybeards outside to the upper Courtyard of the Monastery, where he had first been taught the Unrelenting Force and Whirlwind Sprint Shouts. At the time, Arngeir had not answered his question about the other gate, which did lead somewhere, whereas the other gate had been for practice.

“The Skies to our leader will tear the flesh off your bones if you were to pass it without the knowledge we are about to pass on to you,” said Arngeir. “The Shout, when used, will clear the skies and show you the way.”

The Greybeards stood in a row next to each other, in front of Ganir. Here we go again… He braced himself when their chests began to rumble with the same, intense and primal force, which then struck him with full force, nearly sending him to the ground. “LOK VAH KOOR!”

The wind ceased to howl. The snow that had already fallen to the ground was sent flying, but no more snow fell. The skies cleared and there was silence. The gates to the top of the Throat of the World, had opened.

“Good luck, Dragonborn. Know that it is a privilege if Paarthurnax were to Speak with you,” Said Arngeir before he too made his way back inside the Monastery.

Lok. Vah. Koor. Ganir’s whole being heard not the words, but the very essence of them, and knew their meaning and purpose. He walked past the gates and made his way up to the path, where a storm closed in on again. But he repeated the very three words and the storm stayed away.

After two hours of stumbling and slipping over the ice as he found it hard to breathe all the way up there, even in his state of grace, he made his way to the top of the Throat of the World.

The view was breathtaking as he could almost see all of Skyrim now that the skies had cleared. But he was not permitted to enjoy it for long as a roar echoed through the skies and he heard the familiar flap of enormous, leathery wings.

Ganir readied his bow and arrow as a gigantic dragon dove for the mountaintop where he stood, but he did not release the arrow. This dragon was different. It was not aggressive. And even when landed, it showed no hostility and regarded the Dark Elf with curiosity.

This dragon was ancient beyond the word’s meaning. Its horns were twisted, contorted and far more magnificent than any other dragon he had encountered thus far, holding a similarity to the bone crown of Alduin. Its wings were tattered, some of his horns and teeth chipped and broken. Its scales showed the scars of battles ages past. Both of the dragon’s eyes had once been a piercing blue, but one was void of an iris and pupil. Its gaze was still intense and unwavering, staring through and deep into his very being, chilling Ganir more than the icy winds that swept past him on top of this lone mountain.

“Drem Yol Lok. Greetings, wunduniik.” The dragon’s voice was unique and he had not heard any like it in his life time. It was strong. Civilized. Holding the power to tear not only his flesh, but so much more, and yet, the dragon had overcome its primal nature and spoke with intelligence…no, wisdom. This had to be Paarthurnax. “What brings you to my strunmah…my mountain?”

“I…was not exactly expecting you to be a dragon.” Ganir apologized and quickly stowed his bow and arrow away.

“I am Paarthurnax!” said the dragon proudly. “I am as my father Akatosh made me. As are you…Dovahkiin. Tell me. Why do you come here, volaan? Why do you intrude on my meditation?”

“I had no intention of intrusion, Paarthurnax,” Ganir bowed his head. “I came to you in search of aid. I seek to defeat Alduin, and I was told you perhaps know the Shout.”

The Dragon craned its head so his good eye could give him a sharp look. “Drem…” His chest rumbled. “Patience…” The dragon then raised his head to look at him with both eyes. “There are formalities which must be observed at the first meeting of two of the dov. By long tradition, the elder speaks first. Hear my Thu’um! Feel it in your bones, and match it if you are Dovahkiin!”

Paarthurnax then turned his head towards a wall that Ganir immediately recognized. A Word Wall, from what the Greybeards had taught him, where the ancient Dragons and their followers carved their knowledge and tales of old. Paarthurnax took a deep breath and a rumble like thunder came from his chest. When his maw opened, he roared. “YOL TOOR SHUL!”

The flames that burst forth were as hot-white but double as intense as any dragon’s breath he had been a witness too. Ganir did not just feel the heat, but the very essence of the Shout. His ears pounded as the words resounded and made his blood pound and rush. He felt…alive.

The flames that had engulfed the stone had been so intense that the stone had actually reached its melting point and glowed a hot red, hissing as the cold winds embraced it. Paarthurnax seemed amused by the Dark Elf’s expression. “Now, show me what you can do. Greet me not as mortal, but as dovah!”

Ganir was terrified. He knew he could do it, but he wasn’t exactly eager to blow himself up or set fire to himself. But the dragon gave him a reassuring nod, at the same time inquisitive what this little mortal before him would do. As hesitant as he was, though, Ganir had paid close attention to the dragon and he did as he had done. “Yooooollllll…” He took a deep, sharp breath and felt something deep inside of him that scared him but it also felt so natural and familiar. But nothing could match the intensity of what burned deep inside of him until he could no longer contain it and as the next words left his lips, so did the flames, “TOOR SHUL!”

The gout of flames that came from his mouth was brief as he was completely taken aback by its intensity and power. Paarthurnax laughed, if one could call it that. It was a most odd sound, like rocks grinding over one another.

“Yes. Yes! Sossedov los mul!” Paarthurnax exclaimed with joy. His chest still rumbled with a sound comparable to a chuckle. “The dragon blood runs strong in you. It is long since I had the pleasure of speech with one of my own kind. I have long awaited your coming. Prodah.” Paarthurnax’s wings unfurled and with a leap and flap of his wings, he perched on top of the Word Wall like the parody of a bird on a branch. “I know why you are here, Dovahkiin. You would not come all this way for tiinvak with an old dovah. No. You seek your weapon against Alduin…”

“The Greybeards didn’t exactly want me to come here at first,” Ganir scratched the back of his head, feeling rather awkward. First a polite conversation with a Thalmor and now with a dragon that could eat me in one go… “But I need to learn the Dragonrend Shout. They do not know it, but thought that perhaps you do.”

Paarthurnax mused. “Hrmm…yes. They are very protective of me. Bahlaan fahdonne…” The meaning of Paarthurnax’s native tongue completely eluded Ganir, but from what he gathered, he could guess some of their meaning. “I do not know the Thu’um you seek. Krosis. It cannot be known to me. Your kind, joorre, mortals, created it as a weapon against the dov…the dragons. Our hadrimme, our minds cannot even comprehend its concepts.”

“How can I learn it then?” Ganir immediately regretted his lack of restraint and voice his thoughts and frustrations aloud, but the dragon had not given him a sharp look because of this.

“Drem…” He reassured. “All in good time. First, a question for you. Why do you want to learn this Thu’um?”

“To stop Alduin,” Ganir replied without a second thought. “He seeks to destroy the world…It’s rotten, I’ll admit, but if I am destined to have a say in it, then I won’t let it end…not without a fight.”

“Pruzah. As good a reason as any. There are many who would share your sentiment, but not all.” The dragon’s talons scraped at the stone as he shifted. “Some would say that all things must end, so that the next can come to pass. Perhaps this world is simply the Egg of the next kalpa? Lein vokiin? Would you stop the next world from being born?”

“It can wait,” Ganir said stubbornly.

“Paaz. A fair answer…” Paarthurnax bared his teeth in a grin of sorts. “Ro fus! Maybe you only balance the forces that work to quicken the end of this world. Even we who ride the currents of Time cannot see past Time’s End. Wuldsetiid los tahrodiis. Those who try to hasten the end, may delay it. Those who work to delay the end, may bring it closer! But…You have indulged my weakness for speech long enough. Krosis. Now, I will answer your question.” The dragon craned its head so its unblinking eye could regard the Dark Elf once more. “Do you know why I live here at the peak of the Monahven, what you name the Throat of the World?”

The Dark Elf shook his head. There were countless reasons that seemed valid, but he’d rather just hear it from the dragon rather than guess.

“Few now remember that this was the very spot where Alduin was defeated by the ancient Tongues. Vahrukt unslaad…Perhaps none but me now remember how he was defeated…” The dragon seemed to lament this. He could very well be the only one of his kind as ancient as he that remained. “But not in the fashion, with this Dragonrend Shout, as you think. Viik nuz ni kroon. Alduin was not truly defeated, either! If he was, you would not be here today, seeking to defeat him! The Nords of those days used the Dragonrend Shout to cripple Alduin. But this was not enough…” Paarthurnax shook his head. “Ok mulaag unslaad. It was the Kel…The Elder Scroll. They used it to cast him adrift in the currents of Time.”

Ganir blinked as he registered again and again what the dragon had said. An Elder Scroll?! “But…But how?!”

The dragon mused, snapping its jaw in contemplation. “How to explain in your tongue…The dov have words for such things that joorre do not. It is an artifact from outside time. It does not exist, but it always has. Rah wahlaan. They are…fragments of creations. The Kelle, the Elder Scrolls, as you name them, they have often been used for prophecy, just as yours. But this is only a small part of their power. Zofaas suleyk…”

Ganir furrowed his brow as he put one and one together. “Are you saying that the Nords back then sent Alduin forward in time?”

“Not intentionally. Some hoped he would be gone forever. Forever lost. Meyye. I knew better…Tiid bo amativ. Time flows ever onward,” Paarthurnax replied. “One day, he would surface. Which is why I have lived here. For thousands of mortal years have I waited. I knew where he would emerge, but not when…” The dragon noticed Ganir’s confusion. “Tiid krent. Time was…shattered here because of what the ancient Nords did to Alduin. If you brought a Kel back here to the Tiid-Ahraan, the Time-Wound, you could perhaps cast yourself back in time and learn the Dragonrend Shout from those who created it.”

“A perfect theory, but Elder Scrolls don’t exactly grow on trees…” Ganir released a growl of frustration. “Unless you happen to know where to find one…”

“Krosis. No.” Paarthurnax shook his head, understanding the Dragonborn’s frustration. This little mortal was quite the interesting creature. So small, so frail and so broken, but so determined in spite of the odds thrown against him. “I know little of what has passed below in the long years I have lived here. You are likely better informed than I…However, I have listened closely to the path you walked, Dragonborn…This place you call home. This College where knowledge is safeguarded. Perhaps they could help you.”

Ganir could smack himself for not having thought of it himself. “I thank you, Paarthurnax.” He bowed. “You have taken the time to grace me with your presence and have not just taught me, but helped me. I will return with an Elder Scroll…I hope.”

The ground shook as Paarthurnax’s wing-talons hit the ground as he climbed off the Word Wall. “Trust your instincts, Dovahkiin. Your blood will show you the way,” The dragon then turned away, careful to not accidentally hit the Dark Elf with his tail. He spread his wings and looked back over to him. “Know that I will be waiting for your return.”

“I shall make haste,” Ganir promised. He watched Paarthurnax take off in flight, digging the heels of his boots in the ground as the gust of wind nearly knocked him off his feet before he himself began the long trek down to the Monastery to inform Arngeir, thank him and then return to the College of Winterhold.

I swear by Azura, if no one at the College knows, then I have no idea where else to look…


Seriously. There was too much Dragon speech to translate in one go.


Lingrah krosis saran Strundu’ul, voth nid balaan klov praan nau
(Long –in- sorrow –has- waited –the- Stormcrown, with no worthy head to rest on)
Long has the Stormcrown languished, with no worthy brow to sit upon
Naal Thu’umu, mu ofan nii nu, Dovahkiin, naal suleyk do Kaan, naal suleyk do Shor, ahrk naal suleyk do Atorasewuth
(By our Voice we give it now –to you-, Dragonborn, by –the- power of Kyne, by –the- power of Shor, and by –the- power of Atmora-of-old)
By our breath we bestow it now to you in the name of Kyne, in the name of Shor, and in the name of Atmora of Old.
Meyz nu Ysmir, Dovahsebrom. Dahmaan daar rok
(-You have- become now Ysmir. Dragon of the North. Remember these words.)
You are Ysmir now, the Dragon of the North, hearken to it.

Nii los ni fah hi wah komaan. Nii los ni fah hi wah maat. Rok los Dovahkiin. ven brud mok kolos mu dreh ni tread. Mu los wah aak. Dahmaan hin heyv.
It is not for you to decide. It is not for you to judge. He is Dragonborn. The winds carry him where we do not tread. We are to guide. Remember your duty.

Skyrim: The Unlikely Companions – Chapter 5

Door dutchinteldude op vrijdag 31 juli 2015 18:18 - Reageren is niet meer mogelijk
Categorie: Fanfiction, Views: 1.056

Zo voor de weekend lezers onder ons van Fan Fiction hebben we alweer deel 5 in de serie ^^
Ondertussen is mijn vriendin alweer hoofdstuk 10 aan het schrijven,en ze is zo blij als een puppy want ze heeft eindelijk haar ESO imperial edition game ^^ nog meer inspiratie dus.

Voor de rest VEEL leesplezier!! en als je het leest en leuk vind laat even een comment achter vind ze leuk hahaha :D


The Unlikely Companions – Chapter 5

The next morning, Ganir and Cirilonde headed down to the Hall of Elements after breakfast, where they attended the first lesson, which was hosted by Faralda. Cirilonde couldn't help but find it odd to see Ganir clad in the blue and grey robes with a white sash that all other students wore as she was so used to seeing him clad in armor and being armed to the teeth. It wouldn't surprise her, however, if he had his weapons hidden somewhere on him.

The students and some seniors gathered around the font where Faralda sat, who furrowed her brow at Ancano, who had slipped in as well but kept to the background. She turned an hourglass around, which stood on the font's edge and turned to the class.

"Good morning everyone. Welcome. As you no doubt know, I am your instructor for today's basic technique for Destruction," as she spoke, she walked back and forth, using her hands in graceful gestures to maintain everyone's attention. "As you are aware, the school of Destruction is practically vital to any mage, even if for the basic, theoretic comprehension of its workings and they will be examined on the yearly basis to maintain your attendance at the College."

Ganir's eyes widened. There were exams here? Great.

"Who, here, has a basic comprehension of some experience with destruction spells?"

It came as no surprise that Brelyna raised her hand, but it was quite unexpected to see J'Zhargo raise his. Cirilonde had no knowledge or experience whatsoever as she'd been mostly focused on Restoration and Alteration for the past ten years.

"What experience do you have, Brelyna. What spells can you cast?"

"I can channel all elements, if needed, but I don't feel comfortable with projectile spells just yet." Brelyna then laughed as she remembered something. "Nearly set my brother's robes on fire."

"And what of you, J'Zhargo?" Faralda quipped to keep distractions to a minimum.

"J'Zhargo can cast fireballs." He grinned, quite proud of himself. Granted, it was impressive for an apprentice to be capable of such.

"Cirilonde." Faralda motioned for her to come to her and she did, noticing Ancano only now from the corner of her eye. She looked at Ganir, unnerved. He just gave her a subtle, reassuring nod, but squinted his eyes at the Thalmor.

What's that fetcher doing here?

"So you have absolutely no experience with Destruction spells at all?" Faralda was quite surprised. It was quite common for most, apt young Altmer to be taught the basics.

Cirilonde shook her head. "I assisted by mother in the bays as a healer, so I'm more capable of that."

Faralda nodded and turned her attention to the class again. "Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with the schools of Restoration or Alteration, but I'm sure Cirilonde can show you that when it comes to the schools, there are different 'stances', so to speak. You logically do not need to stand as firm and prepared to heal as you do when you are obliterating a wolf, bear or troll with a bolt of lightning."

Cirilonde followed Faralda's guidance as she positioned her correctly. "As you undoubtedly know, magicka needs to be channeled through your entire being when you cast, however, with Destruction-based spells, you require restraint and learn your boundaries, lest you burn yourself to a crisp."

And so, the lesson went on, and Cirilonde was taught to channel her magicka into the desired elements of frost, flame and shock. It was a vast difference from alteration and restoration spells, which required a peace of mind, but Destruction-based spells really gave her an adrenaline rush. She was definitely going to like learning more about this and regretted not having done so sooner. She soon wasn't even all too bothered by Ancano, who watched her like a hawk.

Faralda rung the tiny bell next to the hourglass, which had emptied, indicating the end of the session. "All right everyone. That's it for now. For the next session come Fredas, I will want you to have read The Art of War Magic by Zurin Arctus and Response to Bero's Speech by the battlemage Malviser.

"Master Sergius Turrianus will be hosting an enchanting seminar in an hour in the laboratory. Master Tolfdir will be here shortly to host a lesson on magickal theory and its applications which is compulsory for all new students to attend."

With that, Faralda left the Hall of Elements, followed by all the seniors if they didn't head up to any other class or the Arcaneum. Ancano lingered as well, looking excruciatingly bored as he scribbled something down in a little booklet.

"Have you noticed that this Ancano figure has been staring us down the whole time?" Brelyna whispered to Cirilonde. "I swear by Azura he expects one of us to blow ourselves up."

"Don't. Trust that one," said the High Elf woman behind them. She was shorter than most Altmer females. She was lanky, with a thin, long face and pronounced cheekbones. Her eyes were large and green and her hair was long and dark-blonde, reaching past her waist. "That one is up to something, and really, most of us are around here, but for his sort, that's never a good thing."

"I've got no intention to get anywhere near that one." Brelyna said. "Like I said, I don't like how he looks at us. I still haven't decided if he wants us to blow ourselves up, or he wants to blow us up."

"Well, by the rate you were going earlier, I think you'll sooner blow yourself up. Good thing I was there."

"Very funny, Nirya." Bralyna rolled her eyes at the High Elf. She had indeed almost blown herself up by not letting go of the fiery energy in time.

"He is rather handsome though, isn't he?" Nirya whispered to Cirilonde, who looked at Nirya as if she was insane. Regardless of his appearances, he was a Thalmor! In the past Cirilonde had admired and respected them to a certain degree, but since her little encounter with them on the border to Skyrim, she had drastically changed her views on them.

"I'll follow Brelyna's example when it comes to Ancano, thank you," she said. In all honesty, I don't think I've ever seen an ugly Altmer. Cirilonde thought and looked at Ancano. Had it not been for his unpleasant demeanor, he would've been more appealing to her.

Nirya seemed to care little for their opinion, though and kept glancing in Ancano's direction before leaving as Master Tolfdir arrived and began his lecture. Tolfdir was an old Nord with a wild, unkempt mane of grey, long hair bound back in a ponytail and his chin sported a long, braided beard. Despite his age, his grey eyes held a spark of energy and mischief. His voice was calm, often pitching when he was enthusiastic. He was clad in green and yellow robes with a yellow sash that had clearly seen better days.

"Good morning everyone. Welcome, welcome. I am Master Tolfdir, and I am sure I will get to know all of you in due time if we haven't met already. I will be your guide for the school of Alteration and Magickal Theoretics.

For today, I wanted to delve into the practical applications of enchantments to function as wards or other mechanisms."

Tolfdir went on to tell about the enchantments and wards often found in Nordic burial barrows found across Skyrim's landscape. Ganir and Cirilonde exchanged brief smiles as they quite vividly remembered Bleak Falls Barrow.

"Which brings me to an exciting but of news for those interested." Tolfdir obviously could barely contain his excitement, whereas Ancano shamelessly yawned and Ganir rested his head on his fist. "Master Arniel and his team of seniors have successfully unearthed Saarthal after years of research and he's been so kind to permit any interested students to come and have a look for a hands-on experience."

Tolfdir handed a scroll to J'Zhargo. "If you are interested, please write down your name so I can expect you in the Courtyard as we will be leaving tomorrow to make the trip there, which takes an hour at most. I do recommend it, but be aware it's not compulsory."

The scroll was passed around and Cirilonde signed her name on it as well, passing it to Brelyna, who returned it to Tolfdir as Ganir raised his hand in decline. Cirilonde had a suspicion as to why.

"Very good. That will be all for my lecture for today, everyone. For those who will be coming tomorrow, I can recommend reading up on the ancient Nords. We will be leaving tomorrow early at nine in the morning. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me or your peers."

Everyone got up and left the Hall of elements, save for Cirilonde and Ganir. "That was quite interesting, wasn't it?"

Ganir looked at her as if she was crazy, barely having been able to stay awake. "Are you sure it's wise for you to go on that trip?"

"Now who's worrying too much again?" Cirilonde teased. "I should be fine. We're going with a group under Master Tolfdir's wing. Besides, it's interesting!"

"You'd think you'd have seen enough tombs to last you a lifetime." Ganir snorted. "I know I have. Just…be careful, all right?"

Cirilonde smiled at the Dark Elf. She had grown quite fond of him. To not have him at her side tomorrow would be strange. He was closest to what she ever had to a friend. "Maybe we should give the Arcaneum a look and dig further into you-know-what before the next lessons."

"I was about to suggest that."

Cirilonde got so drawn in by the vast collection in the Arcaneum, however, Ganir and she spent almost all day there where they read up by the suggested material by Faralda, Tolfdir and Skyrim in general. They found that the whole matter of this 'Dragonborn' wasn't as obscure of a matter as initially thought.

Cirilonde took notes as she and Ganir discussed their findings and thoughts in hushed tones.
Finally, it was dinnertime and Ganir said he'd be with her shortly and she made her way up to the forum.

The Dark Elf stretched and got up, gathering some of the books to put them back where they belonged, respecting Urag's wishes, who kept a close eye on everyone in the Arcaneum while he read his own books. Ganir's senses suddenly peaked to alarm and he spun around, pulling his dagger from below his sash and just barely slicing at Ancano's throat, who merely cocked a brow, not impressed.

"It's quite interesting to see someone so eager to swing their iron about would seek to attend a place like this, unless they're hiding something or hiding from something." The High Elf pushed the dagger away from his throat, giving the Dark Elf before him a daring look.

"That's amusing, coming from the likes of you, fetcher." Ganir stepped away from the cabinet and put his dagger away, crossing his arms. "What do you want?"

"I have more important things on my mind than your petty opinion on matters, Dark Elf." Ancano spat. "Though, again, I am most interested what the likes of you would seek here at the College."

"It's none of your business, Thalmor." Ganir knew he was playing a dangerous game, but since Urag was around as a potential witness, he also knew Ancano wouldn't risk anything rash. He went to stand a bit further away from the bookcase and closer to the Thalmor. "So try me. Can't get your s'wit friends to drag me off to a dark dungeon now."

Ancano narrowed his eyes. "You would do well to know that I do report my findings to my superiors and-,"

"Thalmor." Urag's voice boomed through the Arcaneum though he hadn't specifically raised it. Ancano's head snapped to the Orc's direction.

"What?"

"Be a noisy pest elsewhere. The Arcaneum is a place of study and not to be disturbed by a nuisance such as you. Now get out before I have my Atronachs escort you out!"

Ancano grit his teeth and clenched his hands into fists. It was most tempting to set some of this Orc's books ablaze to teach him a lesson in respect. Ancano was an example of Altmer superiority and a respected, intelligent Thalmor. He wouldn't have to take lip from some half-bred abomination that couldn't be considered Man or Mer!

Still, he took his chances…for now at least, and turned to make some venomous remark at the Dark Elf, who too, antagonized him, but found that he had disappeared.
Now I will definitely make sure to watch you and your little friend, Cirilonde, you filthy Ashlander cur.

Cirilonde had been at her desk in her room, finishing up the notes for the Fredas lesson and the excursion tomorrow, when Ganir entered, who looked rather annoyed.

"What happened?" she asked. "Didn't put the books back gently enough for Urag's liking?"

"No. He's quite a reasonable one if you treat his books right." Ganir snorted. "It's that damn Thalmor weeding his large nose into my business."

Cirilonde, who had been rather engrossed with her notes to the point her hands were now ink-stained from all the writing, looked up. "What?"

"Ancano. Little fetcher approached me in the Arcaneum, asking all sorts of questions." Ganir then told her what had happened, quite smug about the fact he'd snuck away.

"You really have to teach me how to sneak like you do. I'm sure he'll be digging around for information from all of us and I'm not looking forward to have a 'little chat' with him."

"Well, for tomorrow, you'll be able to avoid him since you'll be away." Ganir said. "But I recommend you don't wander alone so he can't corner you. It seems his favored tactic."

Cirilonde put her quill away once she noticed her ink-stained hands and stood up, washing them in the nearby basin. "Have you even eaten anything? I didn't see you in the forum at all."

"Oh, I snuck some on the way back. I'm good. Don't worry about me, I'm a grown man."

"Oh, I know. Just looking out for you as well, though indeed, you're fine on your own." Cirilonde looked at the clockwork in the main hall; an intriguing piece of Dwemer engineering of which she was told had been retrieved some years ago.

"You should rest. If I don't see you tomorrow, promise me you take good care of yourself." It was then that the tips of Ganir's ear actually even perked as he remembered something and he pulled one of his daggers out.

"Knew you were hiding them somewhere," Cirilonde said, quite amused. "What of it?"

"I want you to take one of these with you. Just to be sure, and I won't take no for an answer."

"Now look who's overbearing. I'm a grown woman."

"Who's terrible at dodging a dragon of all things." Ganir said dryly.

"Very funny." Cirilonde was intrigued by the way the glass blade was fashioned, as it was crafted the Dunmer way, which differed from the High Elven way, making it appear more jagged. She also detected the subtle hint of a powerful enchantment, like the one on his armor. "I'll take good care of it. Thank you, I appreciate the gesture."

"Good girl." Ganir kissed her forehead; a gesture that was quite surprising to the both of them, but Ganir felt a most strong need to look out for Cirilonde. She wasn't as naive anymore and definitely not helpless but she was alone in a dangerous land with a Thalmor on the prowl. "Sleep well."

With that, Ganir left her room and went to his own, locking the door behind him and Cirilonde locked the doors to her own room as well. Though she felt safe with the dagger, she felt like Ancano was indeed creeping around like a child would fear the monster under the bed.

She burst out in giggles as she could envision the whole scenario and found more hilarious than terrifying and soon fell asleep. She was safe here. She had Ganir, she had friends and she felt at home.

The next morning, she woke as the light fell through the tiny, thin window and found she was quite on time to prepare herself for the trip. After getting dressed and packing her bag with some base necessities, she headed down to the Forum to get some breakfast and pack some snacks for underway.

"You don't get it, Brelyna. How would you feel if I dug around the remains of your ancestors?"

"You'd have quite some digging ahead of you because they're buried under meters of volcanic ash," Brelyna said dryly. "Besides, how likely is it that they are your ancestors? And if you did have problems with it, why did you sign up?"

"Well, I have a lot of things to learn," Onmund scratched the back of his head. "And I suppose you're right in a sense."

"Good morning," Cirilonde said to them. "Excited for the trip?"

"Well, it's already snowing outside," Brelyna pouted. "So it's going to be damn cold…like always."

"It's not too bad if you dress warm." Cirilonde said while wrapping some bread, cheese and apples in paper and put it in her bag before grabbing her breakfast. "I have to say though, I found a most interesting book yesterday by Bernadette Bantien."

"You read it too?!" Brelyna exclaimed, excited. "I would be terrified if I ever came across a Draugr. I mean, I know it's strange coming from me. In Morrowind we have all sorts of creatures that are terrifying and dangerous in their own right, but I've never seen an undead or daedra in their own habitat, so to speak."

"They aren't that bad." Cirilonde wasn't sure why she wanted to keep it hidden she had been in a barrow, but quickly corrected herself despite that. "I mean, judging by the book."

"Not bad?" Onmund's horrified expression said it all. "I had nightmares thanks to my older brother for years who said they would sometimes creep into villages at night and steal children."

After reassuring Onmund, they finished their breakfast and went down to the Hall of Elements where Tolfdir awaited them. To her surprise, she found that Nirya had also signed up to join the expedition to Saarthal. J'Zhargo was already waiting in the hallway as he had already been up quite early.

"J'Zhargo wonders what valuable things we might find in the tomb." He said to her. "J'Zhargo has keen eye for such things."

"Well, you can see a lot better in the dark than most of us," Cirilonde's tongue barely slipped as she had almost said 'Well, most likely because you're a thieving furball'.

If only Cirilonde knew, however, what awaited her in Saarthal, though, and how it would change everyone's lives for good.