As Theodyne lay motionless on the cold stone floor, the necromancer began to prepare his alter to Molag Bal for sacrifice. When Theodyne's soul was transferred to the soul gem, his consciousness went with it, leaving behind just the empty shell of a man. But the elf blood running through his Breton veins allowed his soul and consciousness to connect with one another inside the gem. As the necromancer was preparing the alter for sacrifice, Theodyne, or rather his soul and his mind, began to journey into a land that was quite unknown to him, a land he had only heard stories and whispers of from the mouths of mages inside The Council of Arcanea. The realm that belonged to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. The realm of Coldharbour.......
Theodyne awoke into what he was sure was a dream. As he began to regain his sight, the land before him started to take on a blueish hue, almost as if the the light of a bright, full moon stretched across as far as he could see. It was a ominous land and his ears were filled with the whistling and howling of a harsh wind so cold that it chilled him to his very core. He could hear muffled cries, screams, and moaning in the distance and images of his murdered family flashed across his eyes. He shut his eyes as tight as he could for hopes of removing these pictures from his mind, but that only served to make it more real to him. He could hear his mother screaming his name. He could hear her pleading for mercy and screaming for help. Neither of which would come for her in the end. He could hear his father and grandfather's screams of agony as steel tore through their flesh. He felt guilty for not having been there to save them, or at least die by their side. He opened his eyes and they were filled with tears. He felt like a child alone and scared, and a single tear pushed it's way from behind his eyelids and rolled down his cheek. With the back of his hand he brushed the tear away and ventured onward not knowing where he was or where he was going, but only that doing something was better than nothing.
He walked for what seemed days, but with no sun nor moon, there was no telling how long he had journeyed before finally coming across the first person he had seen since his arrival in this strange place. It was a man in a hooded robe sitting on a rock poking a fire with a stick. Theodyne approached him carefully.
"You there, what is your name? And might I join you by your fire?" asked Theodyne.
The old man glanced towards Theodyne carefully being sure not to show his face. "Of course you may young sir, please have a seat and join me and my old bones." the old man said coarsely before returning his attention to the fire that was little more than embers.
Theodyne approached and sat on the cold ground across from the old man. "What is this place?" He asked. "I do not believe I have seen this land before."
"Not many men have." said the old man. "A strange place this is, might I ask how you came to be here?" the old man inquired.
Theodyne went to speak and then stopped. He could not remember. He had no clue how he got to where he was. "I...I do not know." he said quietly with a look of astonishment on his face. How could one arrive at any location and not know how they had come to be there?
"No matter." replied the old man. "Just as well you figure it out for yourself. When you figure out how you came to be here, you will know WHY you are here. And when you know why you are here, you will know how to leave."
Just what I need
, Theodyne thought to himself, Another Alator speaking in riddles.
He turned his attention to the old man. "Sir I thank you for the fire, but you have not answered my question. Who are you?"
The old man stopped poking the fire. "Do you recognize me no longer?" the old man asked. "Even without sight, I still know you." the old man said as he slowly turned his face towards Theodyne.
Theodyne felt an icy chill run over his body as he saw the old man's face. It was his father. But instead of looking into his father's eyes, he stared into two empty black holes where his eyes were supposed to be. "No, it cannot be." Theodyne said sheepishly as he began to crawl backwards away from the old man.
"Yes it can be so and it is my son. I am here because of you! You're mother and my father are here because of you! It is your fault we are dead! WHERE WERE YOU! WHERE!" the old man began to scream as he stood and approached Theodyne with arms stretched out as if he were to grab him.
Theodyne opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. He closed his eyes out of shear terror and waited for whatever was to come next. But nothing happened. He opened his eyes and the old man was gone as was the fire. There was nothing before him. He was alone sitting on the cold ground. "What is this place?" he asked himself with fear in his voice as he looked around. He did not even believe what had just happened. It couldn't have been his father. He buried his father years ago. He did not know what was happening to him. But the old man said he had to find out why he was here. And that was the key to leaving. And the only thing he knew at this point was that he wanted to leave, quickly.
Meanwhile in the physical realm, the necromancer had moved Theodyne's body to the alter. He had stripped Theodyne of his armor and all that remained were a pair of cloth trousers. He placed candles around Theodyne's body and lit them one by one. And when he finished, he pulled a curved dagger from him cloak. This was no ordinary dagger. This blade was enchanted with dark and powerful magic. A blade similar to the one that had been used to pierce Theodyne's flesh long ago on the night when Archmage Alator no doubt saved his life. The necromancer lit one final candle, a black candle. And when the fire touched the wick, the flame on the candle began to glow green and the necromancer held the dagger and the lit candle high in the air and began to recite an incantation of evil power. Once his spell was spoken, the blade in his hand also began to glow green and it was time for to begin what he was to do. With the light from the candles, it was not hard for him to find the scar on Theodyne's chest. He carefully re-opened the wound that Molag Bal's minion had made on his chest long ago. And with the wound open, he poured wax from the black candle into the wound until it was full. Theodyne's eyes shot open but they were nothing more than two black eyes with no room for any white. And although his body, mind, and soul were separated, these actions on his physical being had affects on his mind and soul in Coldharbour. For when Theodyne was stabbed by Molag Bal's minion, he had been imbued with a power he did not know he possessed. Young Theodyne had the magic of Necromancy running through his veins.....
Theodyne fell to his knees and grasped at his chest with both hands. He began to strip off his armor and his shirt. The scar on his chest had always left a painful memory, but now it actually hurt. It felt as though there were a blade in his chest this very moment. He looked down to inspect the old wound and his eyes turned wide. The scar was no longer there, but instead in it's place was a black mark the size of a baby mudcrab. It looked as if someone had taken the smoldering remains of a blown out torch and pressed it to his skin. It was at this moment Theodyne realized something was amiss. This was a strange place indeed, but now he feared he was no longer on Nirn. Am I dead?
He thought to himself as he sat on his knees hands to his chest.
"No you are not dead, not yet anyway." said a voice from behind him.
Theodyne had never been prone to fear since his family's demise. But this was extraordinary circumstances, and Theodyne was more afraid than he had ever been in his entire life. He quickly spun around only to see no one standing there.
"WHO SAID THAT! REVEAL YOURSELF!" Theodyne screamed.
"No need to shout, I can hear you just fine." the stranger whispered into Theodyne's ear as he placed a hand upon his shoulder. Somehow he had again appeared behind him.
Theodyne spun around on his knees and fell to his back. "Who are you and what do you mean to do to me?" Theodyne cried as he thrust his hands forward in an attempt to block any dangers that may come.
The stranger calmly held forward but one hand to help Theodyne off his feet. "Why I mean to do nothing to you, but I am here to help you." the stranger said sweetly. "Do you know where you are?" he asked.
"No I do not," he started as he was helped to his feet by the ominous stranger, "I know nothing of this place and believe I am quite lost."
"Lost is one of the few things you are not, you are right where you need to be Theodyne."
"How do you know me?" Theeodyne asked.
"That is not important, what is important is you realize where you are and why you have been brought here. This, is Coldharbour, the Realm of The Daedric Prince Molag Bal." as the stranger began to speak Theodyne's resolve, or what little he had left, began to flee from his body. "You have been brought here the same as I and anyone else who inhabits this land, your soul has been taken and offered to him. A necromancer no doubt."
Immediately flashes began to race through Theodyne's mind. He started to remember the events that took place. A picture of a necromancer holding a soul gem high into the air as he knelt over his body seared itself into his mind. And then it hit him that his soul was in Coldharbour. He did not know much of Coldharbour, only what he had heard from a few mages in his council. It was told to be a dark and desolate land inhabited by the souls of men damned and forsaken, victims of necromancers, murders, and Daedric Prince alike. And then he realized whwhy he had been brought here and what he must do to leave. He must find his soul.
From the look on Theodyne's face, the stranger knew he had remembered, and a smile crept upon his own face. "And now, your journey can begin."
"But how is this possible? I mean to ask HOW am I here? If my body is not, I...I do not understand?" Theodyne muttered perplexed.
"What is real and what is not is only limited by the mind young Theodyne. Your mind came here with your soul but while your your soul was taken from you, your mind was not." he explained. "You must find and reunite with your soul. That is your key."
"But how am I to find my soul when I could not even find myself?" he asked.
And with that the stranger knelt and drew a wide circle in the ground with his finger and then stood again producing a flask from his pocket. He removed the plug and poured the contents into the circle. As Theodyne watched, he realized it were blood that was being poured onto the ground. BLOOD MAGIC!!!!
He realized that this was another necromancer and braced himself.
"Calm yourself Theodyne, I truly mean you no harm!" the stranger exclaimed.
As a member of The Council of Arcanea, Theodyne was bound and sworn to fight dark and evil magic, for it was that which destroyed all of the council many, many years ago in the ruins where his soul was taken from him in the first place.
"Not all dark magic is truly evil, sometimes a lesser evil must be committed in order to achieve a greater good." the stranger explained as he finished emptying the contents onto the ground. "After all, these same powers flow through your very veins."
"YOU LIE!" he shouted as anger began to grow deep inside him.
"I am only trying to help you Theodyne, you must trust me if you are ever to leave this place. If you do not believe me, see for yourself. Place your hand inside the circle." he instructed.
Theodyne had been warned against practicing dark magic. To do so was to lose your soul he had been told. But he had already lost his soul so he figured what did he truly have to lose? And he placed his hand inside the circle ever so gently touching the pool of blood. And when his hand met the blood, the pool turned from red to silver. And images began to flash across the surface without so much as a ripple. He saw images of himself, his family, and of his council. Some were memories, but some were not. "What is this that I see?" he asked.
"Some are of things that have happened, some are of things as they are happening, and some are of things that have yet to take place." the stranger answered.
Theodyne looked closer and saw his family being murdered again. Then he saw a reflection of himself as if he were standing over his own shoulder. And then he saw a frightful image, it were the remaining members of his council being slaughtered. Some in their sleep, some in battle, some were poisoned, and so on until the images disappeared and the blood again turned red.
"Why have you shown me these things?" he asked
"I have not shown you anything, these are merely images from your own mind, images of what you fear most. Things from your past that trouble your mind, as well as what you fear will happen should you not leave this realm." the stranger replied. "Through you Breton veins runs elf blood, and so you have the potential to use magic. You need only to learn young Theodyne. Magic is a powerful weapon, stronger than any sword and more piercing than any arrow. But any magic, even dark, CAN be used for good. It is never the magic that is evil, but the source from which it is gathered and the one who wields it's power. In this it is possible for even dark magic to be used for good."
Theodyne was stunned, although what he was being told did make some bit of sense, it went against everything that he was taught, everything he was told. It was dark magic that almost killed Alator. His mind was being pulled into different directions but what choice did he have?
"Look at your situation in this light if you will, with Necromancy, you have the ability to steal souls, and you need to steal back yours. I can teach you what I know but only if you will learn." the stranger explained.
Theodyne felt as though he had little or no choice in the matter if he were to escape this place. And so he surrendered himself to the teachings of this necromancer but vowed to NEVER use dark magic for the sake of evil. "Teach me what you know." he said.
And with that the necromancer began to to teach everything he knew to young Theodyne.......