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A Flame in the Dark


Started by Thorfinn
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2E 566, 30th of Hearthfire
Read Chapter One here.

The snow swirled gently down onto Locrine’s face, kissing his cheeks with cold. He shifted a leg, head a daze, feeling the damp chill of soaking wet clothes. He tried to sit up, but his head simply wouldn’t allow it. It felt like someone had tried to forge out his impurities with a sledgehammer. Why had he decided that he could pick up riding along the way? Five hundred septims for a stubborn beast called a garron had been all he could readily afford, if he wanted to eat. Now it was gone, along with his saddlebags. And his supplies. And his purse. Curses upon those ugly little beasts, why the hell would any sane being ride one?

The frailty in his head began to decrease, and Locrine clambered to his feet, now shivering violently. Cursed snow, cursed horses, cursed Skyrim and curse freedom. At least he had been wearing multiple layers of clothes to keep out the cold during his ride. And he still had his sword and knife. Much good it would do him, he had never paid any attention to his instructors. Perhaps that had been a mistake. Locrine peered around him into the maelstrom of white, trying to find out where he was. He knew he was nowhere near the road south of Windhelm through a place called Kynesgrove, where his horse had been spooked and bolted. At first, Locrine had been proud to have remained in the saddle, now he thought it would have been better to fall off on the road. At least he could have found shelter in the tiny village he had passed.

Despairing, he gazed around him once more. Hoofprints! He could follow them back to the road. Or he could follow them to his horse, and his supplies, his money. Locrine hesitated. Not for any great length of time, though. He couldn’t feed himself on the road without money, and he was dammed if he was going to waste five hundred septims. He would lead the useless beast if he had to. Off he went, braced against the cold tundra winds, eyes glued to the ground. It wasn't long before the young Dunmer was hopelessly lost. Snow covered the tracks, and night came on. The Serpent shone brightly in the darkening sky. With his mind and body numbed with cold, it took him some time to conjure the only spell he knew, but eventually, he summoned the will and flames licked around his hands, spreading warmth and light. Locrine wandered, directionless, for what felt like hours. The snow coated his body and caught in his hair. And then he saw the fires, four specs of hope. With renewed energy he clambered down a steep valley side, sending rocks skittering away before him, more than once nearly setting his robes on fire, if the weren’t so damp. As he approached the camp, he suddenly thought about the dangers. What kind of men strayed abroad in the country in this weather?

“Good evening, my fine young friend” exclaimed a soft, quiet voice to his left. Locrine jumped like a skittish horse. That thought did not cause him joy.

“Fear not, young man, fear not. I will not harm you.” The figure moved closer and into the light of Locrine’s hands. He wore robes of grey and green, with the Imperial crest sewn onto the chest. A Guild mage? His countenance was hidden by a hood, the flickering light unable to pierce the deep shadows.

“I am Tristan the Breton, of the Arcane University” he said, holding his hands up in a relaxed manner. “Why are you abroad on a night such as this, so far from Morrowind?”

Locinre found the courage to speak. “I might ask what you do so far from Cyrodiil.”

“The work of our Emperor, young elf”

Locrine started at this. Or perhaps he just shivered more violently than he was already. Tristan noticed.

“Come to the fire, I’m sure the legion can spare you some warmth”

With that said, the Breton strode back toward the fires with Locrine in tow. Faces looked up as they entered the firelight. Perhaps a score of Imperial legionnaires were clustered round their fires, eating, dozing or cooking. Food was offered to him and a place by the fire. When he turned to thank Tristan, the mage was gone, out into the dark. He must be on guard duty, Locrine supposed. Why else would he pass up the warmth of a fire? Locrine had a fondness for fire. He grinned happily as warmth and food drove away the harsh effects of Skyrim’s cold climate. A fellow Dunmer sat down beside him, and they exchanged brief news of Morrowind, while their fire-mates listened.

“Anyway, what brings one of our people out into Skyrim?” enquired his fellow elf.

“I wish to join the Mages Guild, and study magic” Locrine replied eagerly.

The Dunmer looked puzzled. “Why study outside of Morrowind? There are Guilds there, aren’t there?”

The question caught Locrine unprepared, he opened and closed his mouth silently, mind racing. The silence stretched out, and the legionnaires around the fire looked at him with growing confusion. Perhaps even suspicion?

“No doubt,” uttered Tristian’s voice behind them “Master Locrine has heard of the superiority of the Arcane University. What other reason could he have to leave Morrowind?”

That seemed to satisfy them. Tristan appeared beside him, unnervingly silent. He sat, finally drawing back his hood, exposing a gaunt, tired looking face, quite pale with cropped brown hair. Though he looked ill, his eyes gleamed with intensity.

“There is a good reason for traveling beyond Morrowind to seek your education.” It was softly said, but it was a statement. Locrine nodded

“When my business here is concluded, I will be returning to the University. You can learn much more there than at the provincial schools. Some of them specialise, but at the University we teach….every kind of magic. I would be happy to take you there with me. We should not be more than two or three days here in Skyrim.”

Locrine was thrilled. Apparently things would turn out well after all. “I would be happy to accept. Thank you, Tristan.”

The other was grimacing at the fire. With a nod of acceptance, he rose and turned back into the dark.

“Think nothing of it, my friend. It is always a pleasure to set a young mage on the path to arcane knowledge.”
This post was last modified: February 10th 2013, 07:29 AM by Thorfinn




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The following 3 users Like Thorfinn's post:
Grimhild Urdenheimr, Horizon Seeker, Triskele
Post #37837
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Necromancy, perhaps?

Good work. I look forward to ch. 3 :)


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The following 1 user likes Grimhild Urdenheimr's post:
Thorfinn
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(February 10th 2013, 09:55 PM)Grimhild Urdenheimr Wrote: Necromancy, perhaps?

Good work. I look forward to ch. 3 :)

You might well think that, I couldn't possibly comment!




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Post #39622
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I liked the description of his predictament at the beginning of this chapter! His situation certainly seemed bleak, although it did lead him to the folks from Cyrodil.


Character Profiles:
Endaros Ilmori - Buoyant Armiger
Sunrio - Aldmeri Justiciar

Taren Jucanis - Imperial Deserter (Used for The Black Shroud RP)
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