Join the Ashes of Creation MMORPG
(Register or log in to remove advertisements - why ads?)

Gloaming: A Tale of the Silver Knight


Started by Thorfinn
Post #65540
Member

Likes Given: 190
Likes Received: 165
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Nord
Gloaming: A Tale of the Silver Knight

The fire crackled merrily in the gloaming, fuelled with dark ash wood and the brisk evening breeze. Perched on a treestump, the old peddler gazed up at the stars. What he saw, nobody could say. With an unhurried air he lowered his head, rearranged the ragged grey cloth of his hooded robe, and gazed into the distance. A small pathway through the Ravennian forest twisted out of sight among the trees, beside which his wagon was parked, his horse feeding lazily on the surrounding shrubbery.

“Finally” he pronounced to the empty air, the watching stars. A few seconds later, the sound of hooves, uneven and yet rhythmic, grew from the pathway. As they approached the old man returned to gazing at the stars with the same childlike focus he had previously displayed. From the path, strewn with playing shadows, a rider emerged. His horse’s silver coat; his silver armour, both were dull in the twilight. He, for it was most certainly a man, grew steadily nearer, step by step, hoof beat by hoof beat, until he reined in next the peddler’s cart. He popped a stirrup, hooked a leg and dropped to the ground in a practiced motion. But there was just a hint of tiredness to it, the weariness of experience.

“Joscelin! An unexpected pleasure!” exclaimed the peddler joyously, rising from his seat without issue and going to meet him. Up close, the lines of his weather- beaten face crinkled into a smile. The pale steel of a full masked helm reflected the peddlers welcoming appearance right back at him. From the slits, grey eyes were faintly discernible. The man, Joscelin, made no move to remove his helm, he just stared back at the peddler with a blank, faceless mask.

“It is written.” The voice was gifted an eerie metallic tone by the helm.

The peddler smiled once again. “And only a few hundred years in the making, imagine that. Astonishing alacrity, simply astonishing.” The heavy sarcasm was evident to both men, yet the tone was jovial, and Joscelin did not appear to take offence. Not that you could tell. Instead, he turned back to his horse and rifled through a saddle bag. In time, he produced a thick, leather bound sheaf of papers, and handed them to the peddler wordlessly. A moment of solemnity passed between them.

“And this is everything?” asked the peddler, still holding the book in his hands like a thin pane of glass.

“It is everything, just as I promised Thorfinn, and nothing, just as I promised Turnus”.

“And the Wylding? What of his wants?” demanded the peddler.

“He had none to attend to.”

“Good. But what of your wants, Joscelin Lauret?”

Joscelin glanced at the rough book. “You hold my life’s story. When you read it, you might realize that my wants have been the concern of neither gods nor men.”

The peddler nodded briskly, but Joscelin was far from finished.

“Do either of those categories include you, peddler?” The tone was losing its eerie nature, now the clarity was greater, and edge to his voice. Hard, hurt.

“An odd question.”

“And yet necessary. For every year that I have lived, you have lived, unchanged since the moment we first met. I can only think of one means to that end.”

The peddler giggled. “Then your mind is painfully closed. I can think of at least five means, and none of them are that means of which you speak, nor the means you thusly seek!” He grew serious. “You have cast your spells, worked your magic, and whatever else it is the Silver Knight does. I am just a simple peddler with nothing to hide.”

The Silver Knight and the Grey Peddler gazed levelly at one another. Abruptly, Joscelin turned, placed his foot in the stirrup and rose into the saddle. But there was something weary about his movements.

“You won’t stay for some more half rhymes?” the peddler asked mischievously. Without a backward glance, Joscelin guided his horse away and back down the path. The sound of hooves, irregular, rhythmic, faded away into dusk. The peddler climbed into his wagon and pulled the door shut. He gazed about his cramped home, scattered with books, reagents, scrolls and flasks. His living: his life. With a leisurely gesture, a ball of pure luminescence, so pure and clean that its unnatural nature was as clear as day, rose to the low roof. It chased away the gloom and brough everything into sharp relief. The peddler availed himself of the short, hard bed which took up one full half of the wagon, uncorked a bottle of crimson liquid and poured out a cup. Then he unbound the leather cords which kept the book closed. One word, written in an almost defiant script, took up the first page.

Gloaming.

An elegant title. Appropriate too. He turned to the next page.

These are the events of a time known to a few cursed souls as the Gloaming. It is chiefly my tale, but I have never wanted it told. I am Joscelin Lauret. Unless you are familiar with the court records of Evermore from the year five hundred and seventy six of the second era, you will not have heard of me. You are blessed in this; I frequently wish that I had never heard the name Joscelin Lauret. But you cannot always have what you want. Of all people, I know this. There are those in Tamriel who only seek the comfort of heroism and goodness in their stories. If you are such a fool, do not read this tale. Scurry back to your fairytales, and pretend that life is precious, people are good, and that the light of the eight will guide you. I hope that when you die, you die a faithful fool. But most of all, I hope that you die, and not live in endless agony. Such is my small hope for you.
This post was last modified: May 16th 2013, 09:05 AM by Thorfinn




Like this post Reply
The following 2 users Like Thorfinn's post:
Grape Drank, Manarax
Post #65836
Contributor

Likes Given: 307
Likes Received: 525
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Dunmer
Judging by the first page of the book, I assume you will be adding more to this story soon!

This piece is certainly shrouded in mystery; from the purpose of the meeting and exchange to the nature of the seemingly simple peddler. I expect that things will eventually unfold as things progress. I like the names of your other characters have a quick cameo to connect them all to this. I particularly enjoyed the introductory paragraph, as it set the scene very well.


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

Taren Jucanis - Imperial Deserter (Used for The Black Shroud RP)
Like this post Reply
The following 1 user likes Horizon Seeker's post:
Thorfinn
Post #65899
Member

Likes Given: 190
Likes Received: 165
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Nord
(May 16th 2013, 08:03 PM)Horizon Seeker Wrote: Judging by the first page of the book, I assume you will be adding more to this story soon!

This piece is certainly shrouded in mystery; from the purpose of the meeting and exchange to the nature of the seemingly simple peddler. I expect that things will eventually unfold as things progress. I like the names of your other characters have a quick cameo to connect them all to this. I particularly enjoyed the introductory paragraph, as it set the scene very well.

Thanks for the feedback: I'm certainly going to add a lot to this story, its pretty much the backstory involving all my characters. New chapter should be up in a couple of days.




Like this post Reply
Post #66316
Member

Likes Given: 61
Likes Received: 46
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
Like the beginning, and hope you'll mention those of us who interact with him during the years.


My Characters: http://www.tesof.com/user-manarax

Nwûl tash.
Dzwol shâsotkun.
Shâsotjontû châtsatul nu tyûk.
Tyûkjontû châtsatul nu midwan.
Midwanjontû châtsatul nu asha.
Ashajontû kotswinot itsu nuyak.
Wonoksh Qyâsik nun.
Like this post Reply
Post #66322
Member

Likes Given: 190
Likes Received: 165
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Nord
(May 19th 2013, 08:36 AM)Manarax Wrote: Like the beginning, and hope you'll mention those of us who interact with him during the years.

I was actually thinking of including that adventure in the story, with the other's permission. I just need to decide one or two things. It will certainly be refreshing to portray other people's characters and actions I wouldn't normally think to include.




Like this post Reply
Post #66335
Member

Likes Given: 61
Likes Received: 46
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
Consider mine given. Also Morgan is a mage, so he might still be alive.


My Characters: http://www.tesof.com/user-manarax

Nwûl tash.
Dzwol shâsotkun.
Shâsotjontû châtsatul nu tyûk.
Tyûkjontû châtsatul nu midwan.
Midwanjontû châtsatul nu asha.
Ashajontû kotswinot itsu nuyak.
Wonoksh Qyâsik nun.
Like this post Reply
Post #66715
Member

Likes Given: 190
Likes Received: 165
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Nord
The peddler took a sip of his beverage before continuing. Jos’s heavy cynicism was most amusing, if you had met the boy in his youth. Such an idealist, it had been painful to listen to him.

I suppose this tale should begin at the beginning, as all tales should. But its true beginning is obscure even to me. It will suffice to say that out story began many, many years ago, and in its beginning I had no part. So I open this account with my own humble beginnings. You must forgive me if I seem to be wandering sentimentally through my life, for this is all I can do.

I was born into privilege in High Rock, the son of a knight. Tristan Lauret ruled over the small town of Longford in the highlands east of Evermore. There were three of us children; Renald, myself and Marian. We were new to the estate: my grandfather was rewarded for his valour against the Reachmen in 541 with the land and title. Before then, he and his fathers had served one noble or another as knights, mages or advisors. Only the history of my family for a few generations was known: old nobility we were not.

Longford is a place which reminds me that even the uncaring divines have moments of merit. The town itself was small but serene, and across the river the tall keep my grandfather rebuilt rises like a grey spear. A place of surpassing beauty. Or so I will always remember it. Agathe, my mother, came from an older family, and she knew more of the duties of a ruler than did my father. She had him tour the valley and listen to the complaints of his people, and she had him take Renald with him. It was a serious responsibility, she taught me, and indeed that responsibility weighed on my father, or so it appeared. He was withdrawn and stern, and I constantly sought his approval, as does any son his father. But Renald was the golden son. I sound bitter, no? I was, so very much. But not for long. As I look back, I realize my mother ruled far more than my father ever did. He was otherwise engaged.

On this particular day, the first of our tale: the eighth of First Seed, 573 of the second era, I was lying on the packed earth of our training field, utterly humiliated. Lysette, who shone brighter than the sun, was standing less than ten meters away with my elder sister, watching me train. Desperate to impress this vision of satin and silk, I had thrown everything into my attack. Fahrun, the Redguard who was teaching me that day, had little sympathy for my plight. He put me on my backside without any apparent effort.
“You are allowing yourself being distracted by the pretty girl, young master” he called, loud enough for Lysette to hear. Mortified, I rushed to my feet and plucked my sword from the turf were Farhun had placed it. We circled again. I was used to the strange, curved blade he wielded by now, with its different angles of attack. I trained with most of father’s retainers, to avoid becoming too familiar with one style. Instead of rushing in, this time I was patient. By the time our exchange was finished, my dignity was repaired in makeshift fashion. Naturally, by then Lysette was nowhere to be seen. Farhun laid a friendly hand on my fifteen year old shoulder.

“You’d best learn to be a poet, young master; you’ll never impress her with your martial….”

I gave him a swift clip on the back of the head and he pushed me over. It was all good natured, although I was the son of a knight, I never established the distance my father had so perfected with those who served us.


The peddler chuckled mischievously. Distance, eh? As evidenced by their meeting earlier, Joscelin was a warm and talkative soul these days. No distance there, none at all!

Later that evening, I walked around the gardens in the vain hope of coming across Lysette. Perhaps she had tripped over a root? Afflicted with a sprained ankle, was that too much to ask? I would have to carry her, naturally, but I would stand that imposition tolerably well.

There is something you must understand about High Rock and about Breton nobility in particular. We take the word ‘politics’ to compose of equal parts backstabbing, rumour mongering, rabblerousing, underhand deals and perhaps most essentially of all, alliances. The covert ones you can throw aside, alliance of convenience. But for the most part, they took the form of a marriage alliance. And as I have mentioned, my mother come from an old family, and was well versed in these arts. Lysette might have been my dream, but she was without doubt my mother’s dream too, high ranking, well connected, a glowing reputation. These were all compelling reasons to marry her to my brother, who appeared all but oblivious to her charm, her beauty, her radiance.

So I walked in vain, dreaming of another world or another time. As I rounded the winding pathway, I came across father, and by his side was a tall, ashen skinned stranger with jet black hair and eyes that seemed blood red. He wore armour of golden steel, decorated in patterns that pulled the eye one way and yet the other. He wore also a welcoming smile as he bowed; forming the perfect courtly bow, gentlemanly, elegant, and companionable.

“Renald Lauret” he exclaimed, looking me up and down. “A very great pleasure. I am Vytaine Telvanni, of Great House Telvanni.”




Like this post Reply
Post #69216
Member

Likes Given: 190
Likes Received: 165
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Nord
The peddler continued to read, chucking at the piteous manner in which Joscelin wrote. You would think five hundred years would make a man less bitter, less caustic, less angry.

I hurried to correct his mistake. I had no wish to be mistaken for my brother. Now, many years later, I realize I was being taunted. They knew then, they know even now; all there is to know about me. At first it was a precaution. Now it is a necessity.

The light, which thus far had hung like a bright star above his head, flickered and faded. The peddler glanced up and muttered a cure that would make a sailor blush. He was about to cast another magelight when the crackle of the fire outside disturbed him. He was sure he had dowsed it before retiring? Muttering several things which reflected very poorly on the fire, inanimate though it was, the peddler kicked open the door to his small wagon. On the far side of the fire, shrouded in darkness, stood Joscelin once more.

“What an honour.” Proclaimed the peddler shortly. “Why are you hiding over there?” a wicked smile broke the aged face into a canvas of creases and furrows. “Afraid of the fire?”

“I have made it my study to avoid fire, it must be said” agreed a voice that gusted around him like a cold wind. A voice which sent a shiver down his spine, despite its pleasant, conversational tone. A voice which did not belong to Joscelin. The figure advanced a few steps, and his armour’s dark plates caught the light of the fire. Or rather, reflected it, the warm glow caught and flickered on the pitch black metal. His face was one of clean, bold lines, a youthful man, with dark hair cut at shoulder length. His hair and armour contrasted his skin so completely it was obvious that whoever this man was, he was not as other men were. So white it was almost bright.

They faced one another for a long moment, the peddler wearing an expression of guarded worry, the knight wearing an expression of satisfaction. In the darkness, each considered the other. And as it began to rain, the black knight’s smile widened, and the peddler’s face grew longer. Then he knelt, all the resolve flowing downward and out of him like a wrung rag. The rain pattering off his armour, the black knight stepped lightly around the edge of the fire, bearing down on his motionless supplicant.

“What is your name?” he asked.

“Ragnar” admitted the other, somewhat relieved, as if the weight of being a nameless peddler was very great and burdensome. Perhaps it was.

“Any who are you?”

“Renald Lauret. Who else?”

The peddler nodded, as is satisfied. “How did you find me?”

“We’ve been watching dear Jos for as long as he has been dead” replied Renald easily. “Once he was finished writing, I took charge of his watchers.”

“Why do you want the book?”

“We want to know where he has stowed the Bloodfather’s soul. Hadn’t you reached that bit yet?”

“I’m terribly sorry. I do so hate skipping to the end of a book.” They shared a bizarrely companionable smile. “So, I suppose I should have some form of last words. A defiant final breath?”

“Naturally. Something a hero would say. Something that stirs the heart and soul”.

“Alok-Kaal-Krif”

The words were said quietly, yet they sprang forth through the twilight like a frenzied shout, reverberating through the ground beneath his feet. It was like a storm in a confined space, echoing off nothing. A half breath later, the peddler convulsed. In front of him, hissing drops of rain fell on the fire, driving it lower and dimming its light and warmth.




Like this post Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
(Register or log in to remove advertisements - why ads?)


This fan site is not affiliated with ZeniMax Media Inc. or any of its subsidiaries. Including, but not limited to, Bethesda Game Studios and ZeniMax Online Studios.
The Elder Scrolls® images © ZeniMax Media Inc. / Forum content © TESOF.com