Ascension to Power: An Elder Scrolls Story (An Ethir/Artsydaze Production) [IC]
The Story So Far: The Oblivion Crisis has ended, with Mehrunes Dagon defeated and Martin Septim dead, Tamriel cries out for a new Emperor. Though several are in line, uproar amongst the citizens has held off any elections, and postponed the naming of a new Emperor to rule. All eyes turn to Skyrim, as the Civil War rages on between the Imperial Empire and the Stormcloaks, as both try to outwit the other in an attempt to find a new High King for the province. The Thieves Guild of Riften, and the Dark Brotherhood have been restored to their former glory, with both greatly feared by the citizens of the land. And to make matters worse, the legendary beasts known as Dragons have returned, free to roam the land as they please, and terrorise innocents as they go. The Greybeards of High Hrothgar, along with their dragon leader Paarthurnax, are ever vigilant for the equally legendary Dragonborn, but after years of waiting, they are now sure no such being exists. The worship of Talos is still evident in Skyrim, and the Thalmor are so intent on destroying all evidence of the deity, they are on the verge of breaking the White-Gold Concordat, and once more going to war with the Empire. With Skyrim in need of a King, and Tamriel desperate for an Emperor, the entire land appears to be falling to an all time low, it's future filled with little but dark times...
Visaris sighed heavily as he stared at the wooden doors in front of him. His fingers delicatley played with his black diamond necklace, an article that once belonged to his father. He often played with it when he became nervous, though occasionally he'd twiddle with the pendant when he was deep in thought. His brother, Gardbrand, stood beside him as they both thought about actually entering Jorrvaskr and doing what they had come to originally do. He looked to his brother, and wondered if he was having second thoughts, but the way he held himself and the look on his face said otherwise. He was still as determined as ever to continue through those doors, but Visaris figured he had more of an advantage than he did himself. Shaking his head to dismiss some thoughts, he took a deep breath and pushed his way in to the Companions home.
He felt absolutely no awe after stepping in, nor did he take a sharp breath after being starstruck from seeing the interior, for he had been in here many a time before. His errands would often include him delivering weapons or armour, or even metal bars to the Companions or their Skyforge just outside, and so he often saw the inner workings of Jorrvaskr. A few members nodded to him and his brother as they proceeded in to the building, recognising them as the makers of their trusty weapons. Some, however, simply remained silent and stared sharply, as if edging them to do something wrong, so they may tear the pair limb from limb. "Greetings!" A voice boomed out from ahead, and Visaris looked up to see Kodlak Whitemane, the Harbinger of the Companions enter from the back entrance, "And what brings you boys here on this fine day? Another delivery is it?" Visaris and his brother stopped in front of Kodlak, as Visaris shook his head. "We've come to join the Companions, Kodlak. That is, if you will take us on," he said to him, shuffling his feet in a nervous manner. The Harbinger looked them both over, first at Visaris' smaller, slimmer frame, then at Gardbrand's Nordic, naturally broad and muscular build. "Hmm," he said quietly, "Perhaps it best we take this conversation somewhere a little more, private?" he directed them both downstairs, where he took them to his quarters and sat them down.
"Now, Visaris, you must realise your brother here has a much greater advantage here than you? For one, he is far better built for our line of work, and secondly....he already has the blessing of Hircine upon him, a great responsibility to bear. I'm not entirely sure your smaller frame would be so well suited to the job..." Kodlak trailed off upon seeing the disappointment in Visaris' eyes, and not wanting to disappoint him further. "That's not to say I'm turning you away, oh no, I will certainly find some use for you, but you must understand you won't be jumping straight in to some kind of combat?" Visaris nodded and looked to his brother, a small smile appearing on his face. "Now, Gardbrand, you heard what I said earlier, you are very well suited to becoming one of us, much more so than your younger sibling here, but what say you to the matter? Are you ready to give up your life, and pursue the rest of your time as a Companion?" Kodlak stared at the larger Nord, and simply awaited an answer.
Last edited by Ethir; 08-08-2013 at 02:08 AM.
Plot Bunny Breeder
The two brothers, one named Gardbrand and the other Visaris, had discussed long into the night the night previous, planning their departure from their new Step-Father's abode and planning what they would do from that moment on, deciding without much further ado on joining the Companions, both having grown up on fantastical tales of those courageous men and women and Gardbrand himself having Hirsine whisper how well and fit he would be should he join his secret cult making their choice easy for these young and impressionable men. So they packed their meager possession and made the short way from the Wind District where they had briefly inhabited after their mother's marriage to a Battleborn. She was happy and taken care of, and this made her sons happy and free to make their decision: their true destiny awaited in the mead hall of Jorrvaskr and with the Companions.
Gardbrand, the elder of the two, was not one for mindless chatter, and thus let his more talkative half-breed bother do the necessary courtesies with the Harbringer of the Companions, Kodlak Whitemane. He was not inattentive, however, and put a reassuring and imposing hand on his younger brother's shoulder once his physic was taken into question, giving his silent support to the young Visaris. Once he was directly talked to, however, he finally talked, his gravely and composed voice resonating in the private room they were currently inside of.
“I am ready to put my life at risk in honor of both Talos and Hirsine, and wish to be remembered as a great warrior and bard, not as some halfway decent blacksmith. I thought long and hard about this, and after mother got married I knew that I would join you, Visaris coming with me being an added bonus.” The tall Nord said, smiling in brotherly pride at his slighter brother.
The other Nord grinned and nodded, then, gesturing for them to follow him as he slowly made his way to the courtyard.
“Excellent! First, we would need to see if both have what it takes to be a Companion. First is a simple spar between each of you and two of our companions, Virkas and Farkas, that you no doubt know from your frequent trips here. Then if you are deemed acceptably battle ready you will be sent on the field initiation, sent to fetch a real game of slay a real band of bandits with your previous sparring partners to see what you are truly made of. Is this acceptable to you?” The older Nord asked the two brothers, piercing eyes boring into both of them.
Gardband acquiesced at once, and, after a moment, so did Visaris.
“Excellent! Prepare yourself while I fetch those two, will you?” Said the Harbringer before reentering Jorrvaskr to fetch the two Circle members.
Just call me Artsy
Visaris was thankful for his brothers comforting handon his shoulder, and equally pleased to hear him say having his brother around would be a boon to him. He nodded to Kodlak when he asked them if it were acceptable they bot be put to trial, as he knew that all Companions went through this testing method, and it would be unfair not to do so himself. Only a few minutes passed, but it felt like eternity before Kodlak reemerged with Vilkas and Farkas in tow behind him. The pair of Companions looked their potential newest members with cold stares, as if to intimidate them both. Visaris shuffled on his feet again, but took a deep breath, not allowing himself to be overwhelmed with nerves. Kodlak gestured for Vilkas to spar with Visaris, while Farkas was to be paired with Gardbrand.
As Vilkas approached him, he drew his blade, a simple steel sword given to the Companion by Visaris himself not too long ago. Visaris also drew his weapon, a dull but sharpened iron sword, and he readied himself for an incoming storm of blows. Vilkas grinned at the smaller elf as he raised his sword and, without warning, began to barrage him with sword strikes from all directions. At first, Visaris struggled to block any, but he soon learnt after a few minro cuts to his arms. He continued to block, occasionally dodging but almost killing himself by doing so, simply by dodging the wrong way and putting himself in more danger. Vilkas' grin never left his face, in fact it seemed to grow more as he sparred, knowing full well he had the better of his opponent, but Visaris had a surprise in store. He parried an attack, and dodged the rebound Vilkas was preparing, while ducking and diving his way around the Companion to land a blow on his back. His slighter figure came in handy for all the dodging he was doing, and his blow would've succeeded in throwing Vilkas to the floor, had it not been for the fact Visaris had misjudged it and not hit him in the place he was aiming for.
Vilkas simply grunted a little, before turning around and laughing at his elem partner. Visaris simply looked to the floor, sheathing his weapon and not feeling in the mood to do much else. Kodlak approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder, much in the way his brother had earlier, "Don't feel as if you have failed, you have shown some talent here today. Perhaps not enough to join us immediately, but with some more training and practice....now, watch your brother, after his spar, if he is successful, I am prepared to send you both on the field initiation. Do not fear little Visaris, you may join us yet." Visaris found comfort in the words, glad that Kodlak was still prepared to accept him in the group. His attention now turned to Gardbrand, as Farkas approached him with his blade already in hand, a similar grin to Vilkas' on his face.
Plot Bunny Breeder
The older and boarder brother had looked upon his younger half-brother sparing with a composed but compassionate stare, knowing that this was even more a rite of passage to Visaris that it was for him, proving both to himself and his spectator that he, too, was a Nord by blood, even if he had some Mer inside him and that other part was in fact the physically dominant gene. Garbrand knew... of course he knew that his father was not Visaris, but he loved his strange little brother all the same, and wished him the best.
Now, after Visaris successfully survived Vilkas' assault disguised as a spar, it was now up to him to show the now slowly gathering companions that the two brothers were worthy of their time. So, as Falkas took his twin's place, Gardbrand, too, took his place in the human made circle and unhooked his weapons: a simple wood-ax and a sword similar to Visaris' in both looks and sharpness. That done, he did not let his opponent the chance of initiative and attacked, finding Visaris' defensive attitude the reason for his defeat, even more so than his lack of training.
Even with his book equipment of merely a fur set of armor he crafted the year prior and his inadequate weapons he fought like the wolf that was growing inside him, snarling, growling and even howling in time with his opponent as they battled for dominance, steel against iron and might against might. They battled that way for half an hour, both taking and giving blows until Gardbrant's poor equipment gave in, his ax sliced at the handle by a skillful blow and his sword broken by the sheer strength behind Farskas latest Power Attack. Now without weapon and with his opponent and most of his spectators jeering, he snarled once more and -pushed- and the wolf inside himself, transforming into a great white werewolf, the fur the same shade that of his silvery blond hair.
Now serious, Farkas did the same in becoming a great black beast and the two got at it again, fur against fur and teeth against claws. This was a combat for Hircine's favor now, and both were too into the fight to notice that similar beast were appearing until they both separated them.
“Enough! You have proven yourselves, now is the time for the Field Initiation. Switch partner with the opposing brother and go! Vilkas, Farkas, you know where to go with your individual charges.” Said Kodlak in a great and resonating bellow, his eyes incensed at the display yet curiously approving all the same.
Just call me Artsy
Visaris was not surprised to see how Gardbrand fought against Farkas, and was even less surprised when the two transformed in to their true selves, rolling his eyes a little as he watched on. Kodlak intercepted before long, knowing full well this would turn in to a battle to the death if nothing was done to interrupt the pair. Vilkas and Farkas were instructed to swap partners, and take them on their Field Initiation. The pair of Companions spoke in hushed tones a while, and Visaris caught whispers of splitting up, but a final decision was made to keep them both together. They were all ready to set off, having been supplied with a knapsack filled with food and potions, and both brothers were given a shiny new steel sword to battle with. As they left the front entrance or Jorrvaskr, a City Guard ran up the stairs, shouting at the top of his lungs. "Bandits! Bandits to the East! The Jarl...the Jarl has been attacked! We need reinforcements!" The Companions accompanying the brothers looked at eachother and shrugged, before turning to them and saying, "Well, there's your Initiation task. You heard the man, the hunting party's to the East." They both chuckled as they turned and walked away. "You're going to send us out there by ourselves? We have no idea what's waiting for us out there...you could get us killed!" Visaris called after them, but the pair had already vanished inside their home. The elf looked up at his brother, "I guess we ought to get going then?"
It wasn't difficult to find the assaulted hunting party, the dead bodies of Guards and innocents made it easy to spot, even from a distance. The Bandits had obviously taken to firing from a distance, shooting any who dare get too close with a well placed arrow in the chest. Knowing a full frontal attack would be suicide, Visaris consulted with his brother, as often he did. "I don't think running head first in to this is a good idea....but I have a plan. I'll sneak round the back, use the shadows to my advantage and find a hiding place while I scout for the Jarl. Meanwhile, you transform in to that...beast of yours, and charge on in. They won't be expecting a werewolf, and even if they did fire a few arrows you tough skin would protect you from most of the pain and damage they might cause. If you can distract them long enough and wipe enough of them out, the Jarl will be for the taking. What do you say?" He grinned at Gardbrand, not really caring if he agreed or not, as he ran off in to the surrounding forest. It took him a while to make his way through the trees, but he eventually managed to creep his way round the back of the small Bandit camp. He stifled a chuckle as he heard the shouts and screams of the Bandits, as the werewolf form of his brother tore through them like an insect tears through the air while flying. He left the murdering onslaught his more than capable sibling, and scanned the ground around him.
The camp was a mess, a pile of bodies lay to one side of the fire, each covered in a sticky layer of blood. Among them, Visaris could see several guards and Noblemen, along with the Jarls housecarl Irileth, a fellow dark elf. These Bandits were ruthless if they were able to kill such a skilled fighter as she. He continued looking for the Jarl, and spotted him on the other side of the camp, tied to a tree with bound hands, forced to sit next to his dead horse while the body started to rot and decompose. Visaris thought it odd that a body would decay so quickly, but figured on of the Bandits must have magical capabilities to make it so. The barrage from his brother seemed to have ended, with but a few stragglers fleeing for their lives in the opposite direction. Taking advantage of the distraction he had wanted, Visaris rushed over to the Jarl's side and untied him, trying to help him to his feet, but ending up merely causing pain. He was unable to life the Jarl himself, and called out for his brother to come help him.
Plot Bunny Breeder
Gardbrand's sharpened sense of hearing captured the whole conversation between the opposing brothers, ranging from wiping out a family of bear to killing a dragon of all things, but soon they decided on a lone giant in the Pelagia Farm. That is until words of an attack on the Jarl's party was delivered bu a guard. Smugly, the duo of werewolves ordered them to settle the whole mess alone as part of the Field Initiation and left, laughing and no doubt imagining their painful death.
Growling low in his throat, the older of the two remaining brothers looked at Visaris and nodded in a way that silently told the other that they should get going. That signal made, they jogged to the hold's gates and set out to the sound of death and battle, soon coming to a bloody battlefield where guards were massacred by the dozen. Not to be so foolishly rattled by the sight of death, both brother took refuge in nearby bushes as Visaris formed a rough plan and promptly left to seek the no doubt wounded Jarl. Sighing at his younger sibling’s impetuousness, Gardbrand did as suggested and pushed on the wolf that was ever so growing inside him, pale skin soon spouting silvery blond fur and limbs and face lengthening into a more lupine form. After a few moment her was ready, uttering a bloodcurdling howl and charging into the defensively placed bandits, arrows of iron and even steel either being outright evaded of glancing harmlessly upon his thick hide.
Soon he was upon his prey, cries of pain and terror mixing with blood and gore filled the air with the scent of death, blood, urine and terror and the werewolf gouged open guts with deadly claws and crunching on arms and left and even a head with his powerful jaws. All was a blur for Gardbrand, the thrill of the Hunt and the whispers of Hircine the only thing reaching his psyche, so in tune with his inner beast was he. Soon, much too soon it were over, the ragtag group of miscreants either dead of fleeing in fear of their wretched lives as the young werewolf once more howled to the yet unseen moon.
That's when he say it: the dragon. Coming from Riverwood, it soared gracefully and powerfully to the what seemed to be one of the mountains to the west close but not enough to make a fuss of it yet. Worried despite himself, Gardbrand made sure that no more bandit were present and transformed back into his human self, quickly making his way to where he could smell both the Jarl and his brother mixed with the strangely potent smell of decay. As he approached the two, he say that Visaris, in his slighter form and strength, had problem hauling up the bigger and unconscious Jarl. Shaking his head, Gardbrad made his way to the and sopped out of his brother's stricking range.
“Do you need help, little brother?” He said fondly, swiftly receiving an annoyed answer that yes, his strength and help were needed. And so he approached his Jarl and hauled him carefully into his powerful arms, having no problem even in this form to lift the ageing Nord. That done, they made they way back to Whiterun and were accosted by worried guards asking for their Jarl. The later was now concious yet needing treatment and so he was passed over to the guards without fuss.
“Come find me in two days for your reward, brave warriors. How is Irileth?” The older man asked at last, Gardbrand and Visaris' mouning faces at the name answering his questions for them.
“I see... that is very unfortunate. Prepare for the dead to be properly prepared as is the custom for our dead.” He said to his Steward as he arrived at the gate, frantic. That said he was brought back to the Dragonsreach by his servant and the two brothers were left alone.
“We have to announce our success in the Trial, brother.” Said Gardbrand at long last to Visaris, after which both made their way back to Jorrvaskr.
Just call me Artsy
Visaris had walked alongside his brother as the Nord carried the Jarl back to Dragonsreach, and watched as the Jarl was passed from him to a Guard so that he may be taken care of. A reward was mentioned for them both, and arrangements were being put in place to honour the dead, as the Nords believed very much in the afterlife. Visaris himself was skeptical, but living in a town full of Nords he had grown to accept their odd customs and now he thought nothing of it. Gardbrand mentioned they should head back and tell Kodlak of their victory, and so the brothers ventured back toward Jorrvaskr. They were intercepted by several Guards and citizens of Whiterun along the way, who congratulated them for rescuing the Jarl. Word travels far too quickly in this city, Visaris thought to himself as they finally reached what he hoped to be his new home, and stepped inside.
They were greeted with applause and cheers from everyone but Vilkas and Farkas, who clearly were not expecting their return. Though their looks were hardened, it was clear that they were impressed with them both. Kodlak approached and placed and clapped Gardbrand on his back, "Well done, to the pair of you. Taking out a pack of Bandits like that and rescuing the Jarl at the same time...and using your wolf form like that, I couldn't have done it better myself!" The Harbinger reached forward and gave the brothers a bottle of mead each, though Visaris declined, for he preferred not to drink too much too often. "Now, you may want to make your way downstairs. I've prepared a room for you both, I hope you don't mind sharing? And I don't want any squabbling as to who has what bed, choose one and be done with it!" He grinned at them both as he pushed them in the dorection of the stairs. The pair followed his instructions, and soon found themselves in their new quarters. Visaris looked from one bed to the other and, seeing no obvious differce between them, chose the one to the right of the door. He sat down onmthe edge and stared hard at his brother.
"What's troubling you, brother? You saw something out there, didn't you? I can see it in your eyes, your thoughts of this world are changed. What was it you saw?" Visaris knew something was up, and he would know if his brother were lying. Nords were good at tricking the truth, yes, but none could beat a Dunmer's talent in concealing true thoughts and emotions from others. The young elf's face was plastered with worry, fearing the very thing that could change the way his brother saw the world so quickly like that. He continued to stare at Gardbrand, trying so hard to see what he was truly thinking, but without a proper response from him he was finding it extrememly difficult.
Plot Bunny Breeder
Now free of his precious cargo, Gardbrand made his way to the Companions' Mead Hall where he was received like a hero from all but the two who unwittingly passed the chance of saving the Jarl himself, receiving a warm tankard of Nordic Mead and a clap on his brad back by Kodlak himself. After a few more merriment and a few gulp of the warm mead in his hand Visaris grew bored and led them both to their new room, taking one of the bed after a short moment of hesitation. Gardbrand himself took the remaining bed and finished his mead, trying to forget what he way and make it seem like a moon crazed dream, as he sometimes had when transformed. He couldn't bring himself to believe it this time, however... even Hircine couldn't have sent him such dark omen for Skyrim.
After a moment Visaris questioned him on that very subject, making him uneasy that his trouble could be so easily seen by the outside world. He regretted being a honorable Nord in these cases, where ignorance would be bliss. Taking a long breath, he decided that since Visaris wanted to know, he would tell him.
“A dragon, Bother. I saw a Dragon coming from Riverwood. I fear it is close now.” He said at last, looking deeply in his now empty tankard and trying to settle the shivers of... something that took over him at the thought of the great beat of lore. Could the legends be true?
Just call me Artsy
"A dragon, you say?" Visaris' tone was not filled with the surprise it should have been, for he had recently been reading up on the legendary beasts and their supposed return to Skyrim, "What did this dragon look like? Did you catch any colours or was it too far away? Where was it headed exactly? Should we tell somebody do you think? Maybe we could investigate this ourselves?!" His tone was now one of excitement, the chance to see a real live dragon was overwhelming, and all he wanted to do was head out to find the beast his brother saw. Visaris took a deep breath and calmed himself down, before looking at Gardbrand with a deadly seriousness, "Lets not tell anyone. Lets just pack up and go, hunt it down if only just to catch a glimpse of it. We don't have to engage it in battle, we'd never stand a chance against such a thing, even with you in your werewolf form." He picked up a bag and hastily began to fill it with clothes and supplies, not looking at hwat he was putting in, or what he was missing from it. "What do you think, should we go?" He didn't wait for an answer, he knew his brother would probably not be as excited as he was and most likely try rto persuade him to calm down and think about this whole thing logically. But Visaris had no time for logic, it's what put him in danger so often, he'd just wander in to a situation without thought and almost end up getting himself killed. By the time his last words had reached his siblings' ears, he was halfway up the stairs and almost walking out of Jorrvaskr, anyone who sought to catch him would almost have to run to keep up with the elf.
Plot Bunny Breeder
Sighing in despair at his brother's constant want for dangerous adventures, Gardbrand threw his now empty tankard on the floor and quickly stood from his new bed, a great frown on his broad fave and a worried glint in his ice blue eyes ad he quickly made his way to keep up with his swiftly departing brother.
“Visaris! Wait! You don't even know where it is yet!” He said as he finally reunited with the half-elf outside of Jorrvaskr. Knowing that cold logic wouldn't quell his fiery brother this time, however, Gardbrand sighed in defeat, a thing that had started to happen way too much when it came to his brother for years now, he nodded his assent at Visaris expectant stare and kept talking.
“All right, all right... I'll come with you, but we need some rations for us as I saw the dragon going in the direction of Hillgrund's Tomb and this would be a good trek and since I always get hungry after becoming an Avatar of Hircine... you owe me this, brother.” He said at last, pointing to a nearby stand that sold meat. He always carved the thing after shifting into his true self. Approaching the stall, he thus bought the equivalent of half his wight in meat and swiftly consumed half of it, putting the remaining in a knapsack he kept for rations just like these. Plus, he would probably have to shift to save his foolish brother again soon, anyways.
That done, Visaris bought his own rations and they set out to the Keep's gate and set to the East, to their far away destination.
“I hope the Jarl won't summon us when we are gone.” Said Gardbrand worriedly, the thought of disobeying his Jarl sitting badly with him.
The dragon was too far away to discern much beside it’s shape, and he told it so to his companion when they were far away from indiscreet ears. After that, the two travelled in silence, day making way to night when they finally reached their destination.
A poor corpse of a Nord was found on the entrance and a majestic dragon was perched on the ruins, roaring triumphantly as Draugrs could be heard fighting... something inside. After uttering a silent prayer for the poor man's soul, Gardbrand took his brother by the shoulder and dragged him farther, back to safety.
“Happy now? It's too dangerous to go alone on a dragon's territory alone as you saw for that poor fellow, now let's go home and rest.” He said to Visaris sternly, feeling both awed and terrified all at once by the majestic creature. His ancestors battled that?
Just call me Artsy