"The wound is finally taking its toll. If anything, I was a part of this great battle. I can only wait now, wait for him to come, only hope now, that I die by the hands of a respectable Nord and my sins can finally be washed away by him. Before I enter Sovengard as every Nord should, even someone as lowly as I, I wish to write about the day my life was changed. The day I witnessed greatness right before my eyes.
It was a day of usual plunder. We were a merry band of 8. Two Orsimer berserkers. Never really cared to ask their names. Always grunting about as usual. One of them had gauntlets, boots and a huge warhammer of his homeland. Heavens forbid he should wear any armor. Must be why Illiena always kept eyeing him. The other one wore steel armour and boots. He also donned Dwemer gauntlets and a Nordic greatsword that we managed to acquire from our last plunder on an old Dwemer city. Divines did they know how to build underground fortresses. We ravaged the place as usual. The orcs carried most of the heavy Dwemer pieces, bent metal plates, large struts and ingots. As usual Iliena and I, both being leather armour clad rangers, had our pockets full with any gem, soul gem we could find. The two Dunmer brothers carried most of the weaponry and armour we found along the way. Arien and Nirien always had a knack to spotting good armour and stuff to fence, taking care of our income. Tir'dorac never carries anything. That pompous arrogant wizard of a Breton always goes on about how he has the great responsibility of protecting our leader. He would always carry an elven dagger with him. He would say things like that elven knife belonged to this great warrior, his first kill. Even trolls would laugh at his tall tales. But I was still glad he was with us. If nothing he could at least use a ward and protect our leader from malicious spells.
Our leader was a brave warrior. Never said her name to any of us. She was a Redguard of a very heavy stature and a cruel demeanour. Her gaze was enough to make other lowly bandits tremble. Like the Dunmers, she too wore heavy armour, a shield and an Imperial sword but her armour was Nordic make, curved and elegant, with a helm looking like the upper jaw of a bear, unlike the dark elf brothers, now wearing Dwarven armour, gift of our latest undertaking.
Me and Illiena were to quietly sneak throughout the place and check signs of trouble. There wasn't anything moving except us. I stumbled onto some sort of dwarven box. I tried to open it but it was locked. I tried to force it open but of little luck, it would not give in. Finally I marked the place on my map and went on to find Iliena. As soon as she and I came back to the place, she started working her magic with the locks. By Ysmir's beard how I loved watching her work. I would have given anything to any of the Divines to keep this moment going on forever. But she was far too skilled in picking locks to take forever to open one. We found some valuable gems and a sheet of paper with dwaven figures all over it. We took all the loot, even the old paper just in case, to our leader. The others had already they could find and carry. I quickly pocketed a sapphire, it reminded me of Illienal's blue eyes.
We went back to the Draugr tomb we found the day before while going towards the ruins. I remember our leader being pleased with all the loot. She sent Nirien to fence some of the items and bring some food and mead. She also gave him the scraps of paper we found and asked him to find more about it. He came back with loads of Horker meat, beef, vension, salt piles, leeks, potatoes and mead. Loads and loads of mead. The soul gems were refined and quite valuable. He brought the sheet back with him, telling it to be a schematic of some sort and valuable to only certain people. Leader praised him on his decision and decide to keep it locked in our safe. We feasted that day. It was a blessing of Talos.
A few days later, a lone wanderer happened to come across the tomb. I was alone outside the tomb, perched on the topmost ledge. This wanderer seemed to walking with no sense of purpose. He was a slight person, lightly armoured, that looked like woven out of rocks and a huge axe on his back. I had never seen such a weapon before. It looked both elegant and crude at the same time. The armour however seemed vaguely familiar. I went inside to report. Everyone equipped their best weapons and donned their best armour. We prepared to go out and ambush the strange wanderer, kill him and loot him. No sooner did the Orcs reach for the front doors, they flung open. The wanderer with an air of no purpose was here. By Ysmir's beard, it was a sight to feast your eyes on. Our leader bellowed, 'This is a Nord in Dragon's skin! And by the divines a huge battleaxe made out of Ebony! Ebony with a bone of a Dragon! I can see the God of War, Ebonarm, in that amount of Ebony. I wish to take it someday back to Hammerfell and use all that Ebony to become the next god of war! As for the Dragon's skin, we could use that. Be careful all, he is only one person. We shall defeat him here and now. Charge!'
He was a skilled Nord. The way he swung his axe from his back.. graceful. The orcs were in the front, bellowed ' Malacath's blessing upon us!' and charged ahead. He raised his axe and blocked their attacks. Stepped aside before they could swing another time. He was swift, agile and the way he held his axe, the way he swung it showed he had a great skill with heavy weapons which required both hands. Then he struck. I kept expecting to see one of orcs lose his head in a swift swing of the great axe. Surprisingly it did very little damage to the orc without out any armour. Everyone became ecstatic. So weak. All I could think of, at that moment, was how good I would look in that dragon skin armour of his. Light, agile and would do wonders for my sneaking and climbing high places as the ranger of our little band. The axe, the armour and quite possibly other things he might have in his inventory, all of that would make us famous throughout Skyrim, if not Tamriel. He dodged one more blow from the hammer, charged ahead, passing the orcs, straight to the elves. Nirien raised his shield in anticipation of a direct blow but the wanderer quickly turned, swung his axe, blocked Arien's powerful attack, pushed him back and swung again, making Arien stagger! Arien! Stagger! Never have I seen this before. Tir'dorac kept trying to fire lightning on him but he was afraid he might his own team instead. Same as I was. It was as if all my instincts had left me. Even my experience as a second ranger in the army of the Great War of Cyrodiil could not read the dragon warrior's movements, so turbulent yet so fluid. Then all of a sudden it hit me. This man of sheer skill in big weapons had not accepted any blessings from the stars for his axe. If he had, he could have ripped open the orcs in an instant. By the gods, he has another weapon. There must be one. Something he is even more proficient in. None of the others seemed to have noticed. He was keeping everyone on their toes, simultaneously forcing the five of them to keep fending off his attacks while the rest of us trying to hit one spell or arrow, waiting patiently for one moment of weakness, one opening of any sort. I kept checking his pockets, no knives, no blades, no arrows or bows, not even a crossbow! He had some potions and ingredients in a satchel. Some ingots and leather. An alchemist? A smith? A Hunter? For the love of Talos, I could not figure it out.
He then dashed straight across the hall, past everyone, straight to our safe. Picked the lock right in front of us and stole everything!! 'Finally the schematic' he said. How foolish! He was trapped in a corner within clear shot of all three of us ranged. There was no escape. There was nothing that could save him now. He was in a world of shame and regret. I thought to myself I would try to honour him in his death. I fired 3 steel arrows. Illiena let lose another two dwarven arrows and Tir'dorac attacked with his favourite, a giant ball of fire. Anyone would just be ashes after that. But.. he dodged.. he dodged every attack! He sheathed his weapon, crouched and rolled to a side, engulfed in some purple mist that no one could make any sense of. Tir'dorac put up his own purple mist which I very well knew was for the giant frost atronach. No sooner had the atronach materialised, it was destroyed?! Chaos struck everyone, and then I saw it, a bow! A bow.. made of purple flames! A bow straight from Oblivion! A bow that I have had the pleasure of seeing it annihilate hundreds of elven soldiers in the Great War as the second ranger to General Torwar! The malicious Deadric bow of the General! By the divines what a sight! He quickly fired one arrow, same as the bow, a shaft of purple flames. I wanted to shout 'Everyone run, hide. We have lost' but the arrow struck me, paralysing me. Almost killing me. Then another arrow straight at Tir'dorac. Poor Tir didn't even have a second to think or get his ward up. He was flung across the hall, hit a wall and died instantly. Then Arien fell. The Dragon archer turned and let another arrow lose. Illiena!! My whole world started to spin! One more arrow made Nirien stagger. One of the orcs fell, another paralysed. Nirien got struck as soon as he found his strength back to get up. He was flung across the hall too. Then an arrow straight across the hall paralysing our leader! He walked toward her, one quick arrow killing the last orc, walked up to our leader, shot 2 more arrows killing her too. All this and I couldn't do anything! The paralysing hold of his arrow finally gave and I couldn't even find in myself any strength left to fire even one arrow. As he delivered the final blow to our leader, I ran out of the tomb, still bleeding from the wound from an arrow I couldn't even touch. All I could think about was escaping from this devil, this god of Chaos, this bringer of doom! But even the stars were angry on me today. For I saw an even more destructive force, circling over the tomb, flapping its enormous wings, another purple mayhem, a Dov-rha! Could it be that the Dragon archer had already summoned this too, purple as his bow.
I gave up on life that very moment. I was standing on the high ledge, at the same place where I first laid eyes on the Doombringer. The Dragon dove down, came close me, hovering, getting ready for his attack. I knew too well what was to come. I stood there waiting for the end, looked the dragon in the eye and an arrow came flying, same purple shaft, struck him and made him stagger in flight. Another arrow struck and the Dragon flew upwards paying no attention to me. And another arrow and the Dragon had to land. The archer of chaos stood beside me and shot a volley of arrows, one after another and even the Dragon could not stand it. His great head fell to the ground. His flesh started burning and withering. His soul leaving him in a rush and going toward the archer beside me. He was the Dovahkiin! The Dragonborn of Legend! The greatest warrior of our realm! We did not have even the slightest chance of putting a scratch on him, let alone kill and loot him. His using a heavy battle axe without any sort of advantages for him was a way of him telling us to just give up. It is not worth it. But we were so blinded by the false opportunity that we couldn't even measure the difference between us and him. He was a slight person and alone. But he single handedly destroyed us, killed a Dragon and stood there basking in the sun. He turned to me and said 'Why were you wasting away like that with a bunch of bandits? You are clearly cut from a different cloth.' 'How can you tell?' 'To begin with, unlike the other bandits, you did not attack me as soon as you saw me. You went inside, instead, and got your band ready. You waited for a clear shot while trying to figure me out. I will not forget the bewildered look of your face when you figured out that the clumsy axe wasn't my weapon or that I don't have any other weapon. Before you could warn the others, I ran and trapped myself into a corner, everyone went ecstatic. Only you would have figured out my true mastery once you saw the Bound Bow. I wanted everyone to realise themselves but all them were so blinded by their greed, they couldn't even judge for themselves anymore. I think that has been the case all the time. You struck me as a strategist, and would have warned them as soon as you realised, would have made them see. So I struck you first, a quick arrow, enough to paralyse you but not kill you. Then the rest you know well.' 'So all you did was play me and my companions from the very beginning.' 'Companions? Those people? By Ysmir's beard, you are a Nord. Have some respect for yourself. Those who you call companions were mere slaves of greed, but you, you are a strategist and a ranger with previous experience in warfare. Am I wrong?' 'No you are not. I used to be the second to General Torwar, leader of the rangers in the Great War. But what does it matter now?' 'It does to me. Do you know the name Alduin?' 'Who in Skyrim doesn't? Some fools think that to be Akatosh. But he is none other than the World eater himself, a kin to the one you slew just now.' 'Well there is a faction - the Blades. We are preparing ourselves for ridding Tamriel and this realm of Alduin. Could you be interested? Divines know we could use a strategist like you amongst our ranks.' 'And what do want me to do? Just forget what you did? You destroyed my whole world in that one moment in the tomb. You want me to just forgive you and join your merry little band of Dragon hunters?' 'Ahh the Bosmer girl. Who is asking you to forgive me? Hold on to that hatred. Grow stronger. Help me defeat Alduin. Then I promise I will give you a fight as my equal. If you agree to it then I will see you at Sky Haven Temple.' Then he summoned his horse, again with purple flames and rode off.
I still keep remembering every little detail of that day. Even after I joined the Blades as a ranger and went on to become the leader of the rangers in the Blades. I learnt about all the heroic deeds of the Dragonborn throughout Skyrim. We fought Alduin's forces under him. He defeated Alduin, using a bow made from the bones of his kin. But now that it is done, I can not even do justice to our promised fight, now that I have been heavily wounded in the battle. I just wish that I would be able to see him one last time, see him bring forth the bow of purple flames and send me to Sovengard."
Author Notes: I am not an author. Just a lover of books. The story is based on my favourite game The Elder Scrolls - Skyrim. References are all taken from there. I know it is an old game, but till now it is a game I enjoyed the most. None of the things in the story actually happen in the game. Idea struck while going through old screenshots. Would like to hear from people, especially from fellow elder scrolls fans, if any. Also would appreciate it if people truthfully pointed out mistakes and advised me on improving my language.