This the backstory to Arathyra, my character in ESO, explaining how she joined the Faceless and more. Enjoy!
A breeze passed over the courtyard, carrying the leaves off of the cobblestone ground, and swirling dust in every direction. In the center of the courtyard, an old mage stood peering at a list, squinting from the dust and debris. He averted his eyes to peer at a line of rather excited Breton children before him. Some children were chattering excitedly in their impatience, although some sat quietly and patiently. Just when the Mage looked like he was ready to begin, he returned his gaze to his list.
I glanced at my brother, Andore, who stood in line beside me. A smile was carved into his face. He wanted to join the Mage's Guild as much as any of the other Breton children. "When do you think he's going to start testing us?" I whispered to him. Andore opened his mouth to speak, but he was cut off by the elderly mage before he could utter a word. "Children," he wheezed, clearing his throat. "Your hour has arrived! If you have what it takes to be a mage of worth, now is your time to prove it."
The children stopped their talk and stood straight and orderly, hoping they would be picked. The mage peered at his list again, choosing a name randomly. "Stormwind," He began "Arathyra."
Fear clutched me as I shakily stepped towards the mage. If I did not earn admittance to the Guild, I would be scorned by my family for life. The house of Stormwind was one of great magical affinity, and some of its members had been Arch-mages at one point or another. My father included. Failing these trials would make me an embarrassment to my own family.
"Alright." the mage said "I'm going to teach all you younglings how perform a lesser ward." He muttered an incantation, and lifted his arms as a magical shield rose in front of him. As he lowered his hands, the shield wore away. "The ward can only be used for a certain amount of time. The stronger the mage, the longer they can keep up their ward." he explained.
"Understood?" he asked all of the children.
"Yes!" came an eager response.
"Now," the mage said to me "I'm going to cast a stun spell directed at you. If you are competent enough to keep up the ward, then the spell will not be able to harm you." I gulped. It didn't seem that difficult, but the stakes were high. "Begin." The Mage said.
I summoned the ward, the stun spell hurtling towards me. I felt the magicka draining out of me. The ward flickered in and out of existence before completely disappearing. As the stun spell hit me in the chest, I was sent flying across the courtyard and into the dust. As I regained my ability to move, I heard the mage utter one word. "Next." he said, turning back to the list. I had failed.