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This was inspired by Gaming Gourmet

This is how to Make the legendary sweet roll, by my Skyrim Character's sister: Fiora Tullius Buell, 'the cook'.
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"Name's Mercer Frey. And you are?"

His hands shifted to cross over his torso as his amber eyes burned into mine. They had a bit of playfulness in them – an innocence I would watch silently as it crumbled over time. But back then, the moment we met, his gaze held onto mine with the fiercest of grips. So many words were spoken over that glance; it produced an almost paralyzing effect over my limbs and voice. Without warning, I was trapped – caught like prey in a Frostbite Spider's web.

Forcing some sort of noise from my throat, my sentences finally formed after a few grunts. "K-Karliah," I mumbled, offering my hand. His larger palm fit perfectly around mine and proceeded in a friendly and inviting shake.

"I can tell we're gonna get along fine." The 'Spider' rasped, his face softening with a smile tugging at his lips. His irises were still ablaze, but somehow he had managed to ease my previous fears with that one simple expression.

I, the 'prey,' simply nodded and tried to form a grin of my own. It probably didn't seem as genuine as I wished it to, but the intended effect was achieved. Mercer Frey's smile stretched to a smirk, pure mischief glimmering in those amber orbs.

"Just try to keep up with us, Karliah."

My mouth spat back the first response that processed through my mind.

"I assure you – I will be fine, Mercer Frey." His name was hissed quietly as it escaped my lips.

My perceived hostility was met with a mere snicker. "My full name sounds rotten on your tongue. Call me Mercer." He gave one more soft chuckle and took his leave, his leather boots sounding thunderous in the sewer atmosphere.

"Quite the charmer, isn't he?" A friendly voice sounded from beside me, and I was conscious of my surroundings once more. Gallus was standing next to me, an inviting smile on his face. His eyes were much more gentle, directly contrasting Mercer's intimidating gaze.

Looking back, Gallus was the one to introduce us. We three would move on to greater heights, beyond the Thieves Guild, to form the greatest (and only) Nightingale trio of our generation. Gallus was our Guildmaster in those days, and I but a greenhorn in the ranks. Mercer was already of a high enough power to give newcomers like me orders, and so I had to listen to him - frustrating as it was. The Spider always had a way to make his prey uncomfortable but strangely intrigued. Once or twice he would catch me glancing his way and give the same curious, damned leer in response. I argued that my mind was simply rarely satisfied without vast exploration, and therefore it had taken a liking to Mercer, who was the pure definition of unpredictable.

The man was, admittedly, quite complex. He often had a wistful look about him, choosing the missions that required far travel for the pure reason of his desire for "personal time". He seemed to enjoy the rewards of our labor a sliver more than others, but I had no idea how vastly that greed would grow.

One night, Gallus assigned me a job; nothing big, simply to raid a quaint home in Whiterun of its valuables. When he mentioned that he would accompany me, a smile began tugging at my lips. Gallus had an effective way of calming me when I was at my most flustered, and had a strangely soothing way of authority. Looking back, I suppose it was Gallus that transformed me from a short-tempered newcomer to the patient Nightingale I am today.

Once I accepted the mission and prepared myself with the Guildmaster, Mercer clopped up to us. I had begun to recognize the sound his boots made on the brick underground; nothing could mistake the way he carried his arrogance around the Guild. He gave his infamous smirk to me; confused, I stood there, shifting my weight from foot to foot.

Gallus cleared his throat, sensing my uneasiness. "Karliah, Mercer is..."

Rudely, Mercer interrupted the Guildmaster. "Didn't you realize? I'm coming with you."

.

As I followed the two men out of Riften, I noticed instantly that we were heading in the wrong direction. Skyrim was a large place, but I was fairly skilled at knowing the general area of certain landmarks – especially major cities.

I couldn't help but voice my confusion, despite how disrespectful it may have sounded. "Guildmaster, are we... are you sure we are on the right path?"

Gallus smiled and nodded. "Yes, Karliah. We're heading somewhere more important."

Mercer chuckled. Was he aware of our true objective? Was I the only one in the dark? "Gallus is taking us somewhere... special."

I swallowed hard, unsure of whether this change of plans was in my favor or not. I didn't bother asking where; I would know once we arrived.

However, a sunset later, I was standing before a giant black stone settled into the dirt. There was a cave opening a few lengths away, leading who knows where. Before I had the chance to process my surroundings, I felt Gallus's hand on my shoulder.

"This is the headquarters of the Nightingales, cut into the mountainside by the first of our kind," he murmured. "It is here we will swear your allegiance to Nocturnal."

"Nightingales? Nocturnal?" I echoed, puzzled.

Mercer scoffed, his confident smirk illuminated by moonlight. "Wait, you're a thief but you've never heard of the Nightingales?"

I could do nothing but narrow my eyes at him, confirming that I was truly lost when it came to the subject matters.

He ran a hand through his hair, giving an annoyed sigh. "Well, if you're that curious, the Nightingales are-"

Gallus cut him off. "All will be revealed in due time, Karliah. No one will force you to do anything, but I hope you will at least consider." He gave a smile my way; my heart fluttered, but I shoved it aside. There was no need to act like a bashful child; we were thieves. Neither Gallus nor Mercer would become my number one priority.

In the end, we were all out for ourselves.

.

As I stood alone on the floor glyph, I gazed down at the sleek, black armor covering my body. Nightingale Armor; a beautiful display of leatherwork and protected by a power I didn't quite understand yet. This "Nocturnal," as I learned from Gallus only minutes before, was the mistress of night and darkness, and a patron of every thief in Tamriel.

Our duties, as Nightingales, were to protect the temple of Nocturnal – the Twilight Sepulcher – with our lives. Three are chosen from the Thieves Guild to become these great night warriors, and they become a trinity after Nocturnal's blessing is granted.

Mercer, Gallus, and I were to become the trinity of Nightingales.

Pride at being chosen swelled in my chest as I gazed over at Gallus and Mercer, both standing on their own glyph, and shrouded in the same armor as I. Gallus began the ceremony with those fateful words, ultimately sealing all members of the trinity's fates.

"I call upon you, Lady Nocturnal, Queen of Murk, and Empress of Shadows. Hear my voice."

A churning black and purple mass swarmed in the center of the room. Wind howled and a dark, feminine voice sounded from the shadows.

"Gallus, Mercer, Karliah. Welcome. I, Nocturnal, have come from the shadows to grant you my blessing."

Mercer nodded, his tone impatient. "Yeah, yeah, so hurry up and give it to us!"

"Patience," Gallus whispered.

"You would do well to listen to your Guildmaster," Nocturnal warned. "Very well. But my trinity must give something in return. I trust you know what it is?"

Gallus nodded. "We swear allegiance to you in this life and the next, Lady Nocturnal."

I swallowed hard, unable to process what was happening. Of course, Mercer had explained to me on the way to this room that the Nightingales were a prestigious group of thieves. My mother, Dralsi Indoril, always praised me on my natural craft for larceny. This experience could only benefit me. But was I to give my soul to this spirit? Was it worth it?

"The conditions are acceptable. You may proceed," Nocturnal's smooth voice sounded once more.

Gallus knelt down and continued, "Lady Nocturnal, we accept your terms. We dedicate ourselves to you, as both your avengers, and your sentinels. We will honor our agreement in this life and the next, until your conditions have been met."

There was a pause, and I nearly jumped when Nocturnal spoke again. "Very well. I name you three the Nightingale Trinity. Do not disappoint me." The mass dissolved into thin air as Nocturnal's voice faded away.

I looked to both Mercer and Gallus, and nodded. The three of us were Nightingales now; privileged thieves who were dedicated to Lady Nocturnal for the rest of our existences.

.

I had heard that other Guild members were involved with one another; I used this to reason with myself. There was nothing wrong with my strange feelings towards Mercer, I argued, and it was perfectly all right to indulge in them. It wasn't as if I was putting him before myself, and he wasn't doing the same for me. And Mercer was not what you would call a "friend," but he was a companion. A fellow thief, a Nightingale, and someone whom I believed to be watching out for me at the time.

One night with Mercer and Gallus alone was all it took for me to fall for the former's charms. I would never say I was in love with the man; love is too pure an emotion to describe what I felt towards Mercer Frey.

The prey's relations to the spiderweb are never innocent. They approach the web for some reason, after all, and do not realize what they have fallen into until the Frostbite Spider approaches.

Perhaps I was attracted to Mercer's 'spiderweb' of sorts; his love of mischief, his gruff voice, the way he put his arm around me as we walked to his manor night after night. Or perhaps it was the way he bedded me – with soft, gentle fingers tickling my breasts and the hungry lust in his eyes as his teeth and lips explored my bare skin. I also loved the way my name sounded in his voice, particularly when he was screaming it in a raw ecstasy that he hid from the rest of the world.

There is one night I still treasure; the only memory I have of a pureness now lost. It was a cold night, and as we huddled our naked bodies together under the covers to keep warm, Mercer opened himself up to me.

"Wouldn't it be great to be Guildmaster?" he asked with that frustrating smirk of his.

"Yes," I agreed quietly, settling into the crook of his neck.

He wrapped an arm around me idly. "I'm definitely going to be a great one."

It's not a question, but I feel the need to reply all the same. "Yes, Mercer, you will. There's no doubt in my mind."

With a soft chuckle, he pulled me closer, and I slipped off to sleep.

It was a brief exchange of words, but I will never forget them. I consider it the last of Mercer's innocence. In those days, his eyes gleamed with simple ambition, and perhaps more than enough mischief.

At the time, I was still foolish, focusing purely on the pleasure he provided to me, and thinking that he simply felt same fierce attraction in his veins as I did.

I could have never imagined what path he would choose to walk.

.

Moons passed and something new and evil began to take root in his heart. Greed began to tempt his ambitions, echoing clearly through his amber eyes' unsatisfied gleam.

The two of us drifted apart, as well. He had found new maidens to bed, and I had fallen in love. Gallus brought new feelings I could focus on, until I knew I was devoted entirely to him. A part of my mind was still Mercer's, but he had lost the control he once had. Once we became Nightingales, I began to focus more so on protecting Lady Nocturnal's temple, and had ceased my naivete when it came to Mercer.

The two of us could still be considered companions; friends, even. We often bought each other drinks at the Flagon, and there were rumors of our "relationship" spreading about the Guild. Gallus asked me about it once, and I denied it instantly, claiming I could never love Mercer.

As I've said before, love is too pure an emotion. That is what I felt towards Gallus, and no one else. Love was innocence – something Mercer no longer had.

However, the part of my mind that couldn't shake him was irritating, to say the least. It was the constant reminder that Mercer had charmed me before; that I could fall victim to the ambitious and confident gleam in his eyes.

All the same, I still did believe he could be a great Guildmaster. He seemed a bit odd-tempered at times, particularly with the other members besides Gallus and myself, but he had all the qualities of an ideal leader.

I believed in this until, however, I hadn't seen Gallus at the Guild for a few days. Mercer handed me a letter on the morning of the third day during Gallus's absence, claiming it was written by my love himself.

"Karliah,

Meet me outside the Snow Veil Sanctum. I'll be waiting, my little nightingale.

-Gallus"


I smiled and tucked the letter into my pocket, announcing my journey to the Guild.

"Be safe, Karliah," Mercer told me with that smirk of his. I gave a nod and bid him and the rest of the Guild farewell.

Little did I know that was the last of the Guild I'd see for twenty-five years.

Once I reached the Sanctum, Gallus was not outside waiting for me like I'd hoped. In fact, I had to explore deep into the ruins just to find any trace of him. And what little traces I did find worried me; usually one does not find blood unless a fight has happened. But who could have broken into the Sanctum? No one I knew had the key...

Unless, of course, this was Gallus's doing. Perhaps there were bandits in the ruins, trying to collect the treasures, and he had slayed them. Yes, that had to be it; I repeated this to myself as I delved deeper into the Sanctum.

In one chamber – one I nearly overlooked – I finally found who I was looking for. Unfortunately, he was no longer... alive.

I crumbled to my knees, composure broken. Gallus was laying in one of the chambers, blood pooling around him and a deep cut in his chest. I crawled over to him, shaking his shoulders in denial.

"Gallus..." I murmured, tears threatening to flow down my cheeks. Who had done this? Who would have a grudge against Gallus? Pure, sweet, innocent Gallus, whom I loved more than life itself?

It was then that I noticed faint markings on the walls. They spelled a message, backwards. I glanced at it for just a moment, and stood up, my fists shaking as I finally comprehended.

"One step ahead. -Mercer"

Fury filled me veins and I screamed. Usually, I am quite softspoken and prone to mumbling, but hatred for Mercer shook me to the very core. I hissed his name in anger, wanting very much to take out my Nightingale Bow and shoot an arrow into his kneecap, watching him writhe in agony before I send another one through his eye socket.

But for whatever reason, I didn't run back to the Guild. Mercer had planned this perfectly; if I went back to the Guild and reported Gallus's demise, the blame would be mine.

The Mercer I had once had "feelings" for was gone. Mercer Frey was a traitor, and I hated him. Hatred was only one step away from love; both emotions bring out the most raw passion, and can swallow the sufferer whole.

Perhaps that was what I felt towards Mercer all along. I had the passion for him, but love was too innocent. Hatred brought a darkness to one's heart that made even Lady Nocturnal seem bright in comparison.

I hid from society for the next twenty-five years, eventually settling into Snow Veil Sanctum again. I didn't dare go looking for Gallus's body; no doubt it had been either removed or decomposed, and I couldn't prepare myself for either of those fates. I had already lived a quarter of my life in agony, regret, loneliness, and above all, fear.

.

Damned arrow! I only had one with the poison on it; one chance, one shot to bring Mercer to justice. To slow his greedy heartbeat and restrain him.

It wasn't my intention to kill him. I wanted to Guild to decide his fate; after all, they needed to know the truth behind my exile and Mercer's ascension into the Guildmaster position. But it was not my place to let them know – or at least, not yet. He took the Skeleton Key, a vital treasure of Nocturnal's temple, and was surely using it to rob the Guild of its wealth. I planned on carrying him out of Snow Veil Sanctum, taking back the Skeleton Key, and hopefully see him exposed as the spider he is.

I had purchased Goldenglow Estate and funded the Honningbrew Meadery, all in the hopes of ensnaring the spider in my own web. Surely he would learn of my involvement somehow, and pursue me. I had spent enough years in hiding; it was my hope to finally free myself.

His smirk haunted my dreams, as well as the message he carved into the cave walls. But this time, I was to be one step ahead. I was to poison Mercer with my arrow, obtain what he had taken, and have him at my mercy.

It was not supposed to shoot his companion, the Dragonborn.

Mercer scoffed and glanced down at his unconscious partner. He gazed those amber eyes on me once more, for the first time in two and a half decades. My heart fluttered a bit underneath my Nightingale armor, and for a moment I felt the same attraction tugging me. However, I then remembered Gallus, and I reached for an arrow, drawing it back and pointing it towards my foe.

Mercer was not at all surprised by my hostility, but he didn't seem threatened, either. "Do you honestly think your arrow will reach me before my blade finds your heart?"

"Give me a reason to try," I hissed back.

That familiar smirk returned to Mercer's face, and it was as if I had taken a step back in time – back to when Mercer was a man I admired, one I was never separated from, and someone I trusted with my life. "You're a clever girl, Karliah. Buying Goldenglow Estate and funding Honningbrew Meadery was inspired."

"'To ensure an enemy's defeat, you must first undermine his allies.' It was the first lesson Gallus told us." My gaze softened at the memory of my beloved.

"You always were a quick study," Mercer sneered in response.

My grip tightened on my bow. "Not quick enough. Otherwise, Gallus would still be alive." If I had realized who Mercer was when I first fell for his charms, perhaps Gallus could have been saved...

"Gallus has his wealth, and he had you. All he had to do was look the other way." The words had a bitter tone to them, though I couldn't understand why.

"Did you forget the oath we took as Nightingales? Did you expect him to simple ignore your methods?"

He cringed slightly, but after a moment's hesitation, snarled tauntingly, "Enough of this mindless banter! Come, Karliah! It's time for you and Gallus to become reunited!"

I shook my head and disappeared into the shadows, murmuring, "I'm no fool, Mercer. Crossing blades with you would be a death sentence. But I can promise the next time we meet, it will be your undoing."

I didn't see what Mercer did after that, but I wasn't surprised to hear his betraying words to his companion. The Dragonborn was near death when he finally left, and my arrow had managed to save her, and I carried her outside to safety.

.

I could never have hoped to be accepted back into the Guild. It was one of my sweetest dreams come true (the other, of course, being reunited with Gallus). Brynjolf gave me something I never hoped to achieve for the rest of my life: trust. He trusted me. The other Guild members even walked ahead of me; turning one's back to another is a deep form of faith in them to not slay you from behind, after all.

When it was decided that Mercer should be slain, I was not surprised. Had my rawest emotions not died along with Gallus, I would have felt pity for him. Mercer was a victim of himself, but a victim nonetheless.

But there was no turning back now. Anything I revealed that could link me to caring about Mercer would surely label me a traitor. They would assume I was working for him, or lying about everything. I couldn't risk it.

I decided to make Brynjolf and the Dragonborn Nightingales. They were hesitant at first, but Nocturnal's blessing gave them strength to pursue Mercer further. I explained to the Queen of Murk that my motive was pure revenge now. And it was – simply not in the way the others thought. I wished for Mercer to see his wrongdoings and suffer as I had; if death could bring him that, then so be it.

We found him after making our way through the maze that is Irkngthand. The cowardly spider even carved the same message into the walls of the ruins – no doubt to mock us. He was extracting the Eyes of the Falmar from the giant statue near the exit of the cave.

"Karliah, when will you learn you can't get the drop on me?" Mercer hissed, turning around to face the Trinity.

The room shook, and I found myself and Brynjolf trapped behind pieces of rubble. We could do nothing but listen now as Mercer taunted the Dragonborn. However, I could not help but notice the bitterness in his voice as he spoke.

"...oaths ripe with falsehoods and broken promises? Nocturnal doesn't care about you, the Key, or anything having to do with the Guild!"

Such hatred. Such anger. For the Guild, for Nocturnal, for everyone but himself. Perhaps Mercer wished to betray us before we betrayed him.

"It's clear you'll never see the Skeleton Key as I do: as an instrument of limitless wealth!"

The greed in his heart was speaking. I had known that the Mercer I had befriended – the one who caressed my body so tenderly and shared drinks with me at the Flagon – was dead. A victim of his own choices, leaving behind a hollow man in his wake.

He attacked. Somehow, he found control over Brynjolf, who was screaming in anger and trying to fight the urge to attack his allies. As the Dragonborn and Mercer's blades clashed, I tried desperately to calm my controlled friend.

And, as quick as it came, the battle was over.

The spider died, and his prey was free.

"Shadows... take... me..."

From my position, trapped into immobility and helpless, I could still hear Mercer's last words as the Dragonborn sliced her blade into his chest. It was a pitiful plea – one that did not suit Mercer at all. In all my years as a Nightingale, and as an outcast, I had never expected Mercer to greet death with those words.

I narrowed my eyes in anger; how dare Mercer think of himself as a Nightingale. After stealing the Skeleton Key, after killing Gallus, after betraying everyone...

Yes, a part of my heart pitied him. But the rest of me still felt the burning hatred as I did the day I lost Gallus. The day I was no longer Gallus's naïve "little nightingale," but a falsely accused and highly wanted murderer.

I never wished for Mercer to stray from his path. And I certainly never wanted him to become ensnared in his own wretched avarice. Inside the monster I still hate today was the man I once felt so strongly for. The man whose smirk I could not resist, even when I had an arrow pointed at him.

As the room quickly flooded with water, I looked once more at Mercer's limp body. Despite myself, my heart ached; it was unfortunate that our powerful Trinity had ended up like this.

"Shadows take you," I murmured, feeling a rush of closure enter my being.
Because it's not getting any reviews on FF.net. ^^;

So here's my Skyrim fanfic, Nightingale!

Summary: Mercer was always one step ahead.
Pairing: Mercer/Karliah, Gallus/Karliah
Warnings: Implied sex... but that's pretty much it? I mean, Skyrim is an M rated game, so what do you expect?
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   Nirn knows only Stasis and Change (Good and Evil are just concepts made by mortals in an attempt to understand the reason of the Stasis and the transition through Change), the two forces, a dual aspect of the Divinity, found in TES.



   Magicka is Entropy, a measure of the "disorder" in Creation. By Magnus, the Mathematician, who knows the Alphabet of the When and Where, Nirn, an Entity-Realm not yet known, Became. With the Earth Bones, the Laws of Nirn (Lex Naturalis) were established. Through Magicka, the Change could become Stasis and the Stasis could become Change.



Magicka is the manipulation of the Divinity - the Spark of the Creation.



"AV LATTA MAGICKA AV MOLAG ANYAMMIS"







AV LATTA OIOBALA


Morokei, Glorious Dovah Priest.

Nirn and the Dualistic concept.
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   Is Padomay a deity who wants blood and sacrifices (Sithis), or it represents the Everlasting Change, full of mysteries and uncertain stories? Which one of the possible realities are the Truest? Perhaps the answer can be obtained from the PSJJJJ.



   With the Elder Way, the vision of Mundus becomes something deeper and comprehensible, without just a meaning, but with all the possible meanings. The Word is made True, and with True, the Impossible is made Possible.



   The Meaning of the Eye, coming with the Dragon and in a Time without The Crown: All was made possible because it was seen a long time ago, and in all possible ways:



The Red Flame Jewel, which was broken by the Moon-and-Star Soul of the Houses is the Key. The Key of Change and the Key of Sight. Look into the Tower, and you will See: Eight Times and One Choice are made in Oblivion. Look in the Sigillum... All is Sanguis. Seek the Hidden Knowledge but be prepared. Do not carry what you can not if you do not deserve it. But if you choose to, use the Strength of Faith to Guide you through the Void Waters.



All is in One. All is in PSJJJJ.



Sunnabe Tam-riel: Magnus Na Latta Ye Yando Sancre Lattia Va Silaseli. Arctavoy: Latta Ae Ageasel.





AV LATTA OIOBALA


Morokei, Glorious Dovah Priest.

Insights about the Mysticism of TES and The Way.
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Part 1

    Meosho, the young Khajit cursed her luck that she ended up in this situation.  As she, with her hands bound, craned her neck to see the cart in front of theirs.  It was a racially diverse group.  She could see a couple of Stormcloaks, rebels, traitors to the emperor, or so she had been told by her older brother.  He knew a lot about many places in Tamriel.  He had even explored it from time to time.  Their father had been an explorer of Tamriel, wandering, exploring until the day he died.  As did his father before him and his father before him, and so on.  That was what she had been told anyway.  Meosho didn't remember their father.  She herself had never actually been outside of Elsweyr.  Until now.  She could also see an Argonian, a High Elf, an Imperial, an Orc, and 2 more Khajits.  They clearly were not Stormcloaks.  They weren't dressed like all the other Stormcloaks.  They were dressed in typical prison clothes, a ragged tunic and footwraps, just as she was.  She wondered what they had done to end up there, remembering how her and her brother were fleeing from Elsweyr, as he had been caught with skooma, and they had been caught crossing the border into Skyrim.  They had gotten separated when they tried to escape the Imperial soldiers.  It was too much to hope that Ma'iq had escaped and was alive, though she didn't see him there anywhere.  She was in a cart with some Stormcloaks and a horse theif from Rorikstead.  They were talking amongst themselves, the horse theif mostly whining about how he wasn't a rebel and how he didn't deserve to be executed.  She wasn't paying much attention to their words, though, as she sat contemplating her fate.  She was glad at least, that when they confiscated her possessions, they didn't strip her of EVERY piece of gold she owned.  She had been allowed to keep her gold jewlery, the pairs of gold ring earrings she had in her ears, and the gold rings she had fixed into her brown hair.  Doing so would have been like stripping her of her very dignity.  Many female Khajits were adorned with such things and she had had them since she was a cub, only adding more of them as the years went by.
    The extent of her mistake had just completely sunken into Tar-Meena, the young Argonian, hit her like a brick wall actually.  If stupidity had been a crime, then maybe she would have deserved to be where she was at that moment.  She felt sick as she thought of her older brother back home in Riften.  He would never even know what happened to her.  That is, until her remains were shipped back to him, and she would never get to say goodbye.  She sat against the back of her seat, glaring with her steely yellow eyes, not making eye contact with anyone.  There were others in the cart around her, some Stormcloaks, a High Elf, an Imperial, a Breton, 2 Khajits, and an Orc.  And she was almost positive she could see another Khajit in the cart behind theirs, with another man and some Stormcloaks.  But everyone in her cart was quiet for the most part, probably letting their fate sink into them.  She and her older brother lived in Riften.  They had moved there from Blackmarsh with their parents when they were young.  But their parents had died since, and Modesi had taken care of her ever since.  He had a small stand in the middle of town where he sold the jewlery that he made by hand.  He had taught her a lot about smithing and making things as well.  She was always close with her brother, but where Modesi was always content in Riften and went about making a life there, Tar-Meena had always wanted something more.  She had especially always wanted to return to Blackmarsh, and she would always wander across the border of Skyrim to the provinces beyond.  But, she would always return to her brother, the only thing keeping her there.  This time, however, one of her escapades had gone awry, and she was caught by Imperial soldiers during her returning to Skyrim.  
    Erranil, the young Altmer, questioned why she hadn't just stayed in the Somerset Isles, where someone like her belonged, instead of leaving on a whim of wanting to travel Tamriel.  She hadn't seen much of it before she was caught by Imperial soldiers upon entering Skyrim.  Erranil thought of her home.  She couldn't remember her parents.  They had died when she was very young.  She lived with her aunt, who was a member of the Aldmeri Dominion, the Thalmor Embassy, and had always taught her to be a proper Altmer, or, as they were more commonly called, High Elf.  But, she was recently deceased.  The wind slightly ruffled through her shoulder length golden hair, almost the same gold that her skin was,  her bangs which she kept tucked behind her pointed ears.  She pouted as she observed the others, particularly noticing a small Khajit, sitting in a corner of the cart she was in, a small, thin, Khajit with fur such a light grey that it was almost white, with black shoulder length hair, and gold ring earrings in her ears, a poor, quiet thing that just sat there looking off into the distance.  She had to be the youngest of the group, and something about her struck pity into Erranil's heart, something that rarely happened.  But, to pick on this poor sad Khajit, to her, seemed bullying.  There was an Orc, her dark brown, almost black hair done up in some kind of bun style.  She just sat, arms crossed and scowling.  Or, at least, Erranil thought she was scowling.  It was hard for her to tell with Orcs.  There was the green skinned Argonian, her yellow eyes lined with purple and red makeup, her maroon, feather like hair being ruffled by the slight breeze as she sat there glaring, looking as if she hated the world.  Erranil wondered if they had done the same thing as she had to end up here as well.
    The young Orc, Snak, sat in the cart, looking at all the others in the cart with her.  She couldn't believe how she had been thrown into the cart with these others.  She had been in the mountains near Markarth when she walked into the Imperial ambush.  They had mistaken her as crossing the border into Skyrim, even though she had never even left Skyrim.  She lived in Solitude all her life.  Her mother used to live in an Orc stronghold, but not wanting to be "just another wife to a chief", she left to join the Legion.  That was when she met Snak's father, who was a city Orc.  They still taught her in the ways of Malacath, and about her heritage.  Her mother was killed in battle one day, and her father had died just recently.  Snak had wanted to see a stronghold for herself, but, unlucky for her, she was taken in by the Imperials before she could make it to one.  She didn't deserve to be there, but what could she say?  No one would believe an Orc.  Many people looked down on her kind, she knew that.  And there was no use whining about it.  She would face her death with courage.  That is what Malacath wanted for all Orsimer, or, as they were more commonly known as, Orcs.  
    The young Khajit, Kalia, the younger of the 2 Khajits in the cart, sat studying the group that was with her in the cart.  They were probably the last people she would see before she died.  Particularly the other Khajit caught her attention.  Confident and rough looking, trying to work away at her binds, this Khajit would sometimes cast a mischievous smile in her direction.  She seemed everything that Kalia herself was not, and maybe wished she could be.  Kalia had lived in Elsweyr all her life.  Upon her parents recent death, she left Elsweyr, looking to look for her older sister, Atahbah, who, when Kalia was still a cub, left to become a traveling merchant.  A recent letter from her sister let Kalia know Atahbah was in Skyrim, so that was where she went.  She watched the other Khajit, her ears, adorned with a loop earring in each one, twitched curiously every now and again, her black shoulder length hair, half in a ponytail, half hanging down, blowing slightly in the slight breeze.  Little did she know, her purpose was almost the same as this other Khajit's.  This Khajit, Shivani, had also always lived in Elsweyr all her life.  Her parents had died when she was a cub, leaving her to live with her grandmother.  Her(Shivani's) older sister, Khayla, had left when she(Shivani) was a cub, wanting to improve her skills, leaving home to become a guard for hire.  Upon her grandmother's recent death, Shivani left Elsweyr to look for her sister after recieving a letter from her saying that she was in Skyrim.  Shivani's long, black ponytail worn low, close to her head, was adorned with at least 3 gold bands.  She was a tan-orange color, with some black spots and markings, and in each of her ears, was an earring that looked like a claw.
    The young Imperial, Silana,  sat, looking at what she knew would be the last things she would ever see before her death, taking in the surroundings.  Her father, a soldier in the Imperial army, died when she was young.  Silana had come from Cyrodil to Skyrim with her mother when she was a teenager.  Now, a young woman, she did not fear death.  Maybe when she was young and innocent, but not now, not anymore.  She had endured much worse.  At first glance, if you saw her from the right side, you would see a beautiful young Imperial woman, with full lips, her long, dark hair worn in a low ponytail, her beautiful hazel eyes lined with black liner.  But when you saw her head on, the other side of her face, the left side, left remains of a painful past.  She was blind in the left eye, and it showed, as it was completely a hazy white color.  Scars went from across her eye, down across her cheek.  And, if her body had been visible and not covered with clothing, you would see that the left side of her body also beared scars.  Constant reminders of her torture.  The Thalmor had taken her when she was a teenager, dragging her and her mother off, just because they didn't worship the Divines.  They killed her mother in front of her eyes to teach her a lesson, and they tortured her to get her to relent, but she wouldn't give in.  She stuck to her beliefs, which only caused them to torture her more.  The only reason she was not dead, was because she had escaped.  But, it caused her to have a deep hatred for the Thalmor.
this part 1 of a story about mine & my sister's current batch of Skyrim ocs.

Tar-Meena, Silana, Shivani, Arranil, & Snak are (c) me
Meosho & Kalia is (c) my sister :iconwolfgirl-el:
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Chapter three
Two choices, one fate

It was two days after Bellatrix’s arrival when Sheogorath sent for her once more. He had been so kind as to let her rest, deciding that she was in no condition to be running ‘errands’ for him quite yet. He had refused to tell her more about Xedilian, however, causing Bellatrix to blatantly ignore him for those two days.
Bellatrix was sitting out in the courtyard, simply enjoying the feel of the wind on her face and the sweet taste of freedom when Ellette came not long after midmorning, bearing the news that the Lord Sheogorath had requested her presence immediately. The assassin grudgingly complied, finding Sheogorath standing at a small round table near the base of his throne. Bellatrix studied his lean build for only an instant before gliding her way to his side. Her eyes were drawn to the parchment spread out on the table; a yellowed, detailed and rather beautiful map.
“So- Xedilian falls Southeast of The Fringe. You see this here, lass? Where the heel of Madgod’s Boot is, that is where you will find Xedilian.” Sheogorath glanced sideways to Bellatrix and arched a brow. “Think you can manage?”
What a ridiculous question, Bellatrix thought, but she refrained from voicing this and merely gave Sheogorath a slight nod in reply. The Madgod straightened and rolled up the map of the Isles, handing it over as he said, “You’ll find suitable clothing for the journey in your rooms. I do hope you make it back, lass. It will take me so very long to replace you. What I want you to do is clear the place of the nasty buggers that have taken it over- take this.” He held out a hand, in which Haskill, who stepped forwards, placed an odd-looking tool. It looked like a slingshot, though somewhat crooked and bronze. Sheogorath handed it to Bellatrix, his golden eyes watching her expression carefully. She took the strange object, her fingertips tingling as it seemed to tremble at her touch.
“What is it?” she asked quietly, fascinated by the trinket.
“It is called the Attenuator of Judgment- something our Lord was never able to use, but might help you,” Haskill replied, receiving a slightly incredulous look from Sheogorath.
The madgod soon returned his golden gaze to Bellatrix, saying, “so- let us hope you have better judgment than I do. Let us hope you find your way back to us.”
“I will return,” Bellatrix said in a low tone, offended suddenly by the madgod’s doubt. “You can be sure of it.”
“Can I?” Sheogorath asked lightly. “How peculiar. I suppose we’ll wait and see how brave you are, lass.” He lifted his gloved hand then, his golden eyes glittering as fondly he nudged her chin. Bellatrix turned her head almost subconsciously away to avoid his touch, despite the warm sensation it gave her.
Sheogorath turned away then, whistling absently as he meandered back to his throne, and, as he sat back down and took up his staff, he gave Bellatrix a mocking little salute.
“Is that all you’re telling me about the place, then?” Bellatrix demanded, one brow arching sharply. Sheogorath smiled then, though she did not return it; instead she pivoted on her heel and tapped her palm with the end of the rolled up map she held, a bemusing mixture of emotions swirling in her chest.
As soon as she had changed into leather breeches, sturdy boots, a loose white tunic and a leather jerkin, Bellatrix began to find all the knives around her room that she could, hiding them in various places on her person. She had also located leather bracers, delighted to find them already broken in and soft. As she was retying her long hair back at the nape of her neck, a soft knock came at her door.
“ ‘S unlocked,” Bellatrix called. She looked up from her mirror then as the door slowly opened and Ellette peered into the room.
“Oh- there you are,” the woman chimed when she caught sight of Bellatrix. “Brilliant. Sheogorath spent a little time thinking and he came to the conclusion that you might require a guide to Xedilian- the Isles can be trying the first time you attempt to traverse them.”
“A guide, eh?” Bellatrix asked, snorting a little. “Maybe. Who is it?”
“One moment.” Ellette disappeared from view then, and Bellatrix could hear her talking quietly with someone else- though the other voice was too soft in order for her to place a gender on it. After nearly a minute the door opened again and Bellatrix looked up to find a tall, pretty high elven woman step past Ellette. Her long, pale red hair was tied back as well, though it was near the top of her head, as was the High Elven custom. Her face was thin and long, her skin lightly tanned and her pale blue eyes kind. Bellatrix returned the smile the woman gave her only half-heartedly before looking back to her mirror.
“So you got a name or what?” Bellatrix finally asked, her gaze flickering back to the woman as she finished tying back her hair.
“Yes,” the elven woman replied. “Depends on if ye want to hear it or not.”
Bellatrix froze for a second or two at the reply, but then, she couldn’t help but give a short laugh. “Good answer,” the assassin said, finally letting a real smile curl her lips. “I’d like to hear it, yeah. Unless you want me to refer to you as ‘Altmer.’”
“The name’s Valania. And if ye didn’t have my name, you were also welcome to calling me ‘High Lady.’”
“Right,” Bellatrix snorted. She hated to admit it, but she was starting to think that she would get along quite well with this elf. “Well, my name’s Bellatrix. In case you didn’t know.”
“Sheogorath only referred to ye as his lassie- Ellette just now told me what ye’re supposed to be called. It’s amazing- only two meetin’s with our lord and ye’ve made such an impression as to receive a pet name.”
“Is that a good thing?” Bellatrix asked, unable to help a bitter laugh.
“Tis,” Valania replied seriously. “Means he likes ye.”
“Is this how things with Relmyna started too?” Bellatrix asked, looking around Valania to Ellette. The woman merely smiled faintly, while on her forearm, little Hazzy gave a snorting sound. Bellatrix let out a long sigh, though before she could say anything more, Valania demanded, “Why are we still standing here? Ye ready to go, Bellatrix?”
“Yeah,” the assassin replied. “Yeah, I’m all set.”
She strode for the door then, grabbing her jacket along the way and pulling it on over her loose-sleeved tunic. Valania followed along, calling back to Ellette, “Tell Lord Sheogorath that his champion shall return as soon as she can.”
“I’m sure he’ll miss me terribly,” Bellatrix said with a snort. “Since you know, I’m that important to him after he’s known me for what, five minutes?”
“Ye’d be surprised,” Valania said coyly. “He seemed impressed with ye.”
Bellatrix merely snorted at this, shaking her head. “Then he is easily impressed, isn’t he?”
Valania only laughed at these words. Bellatrix scowled and her brow creased. She returned her sapphire eyes ahead as they continued on in silence; though in the back of her mind, Bellatrix could not help but think about what Valania had said- nor could she help sparing one last glance towards Sheogorath’s throne as they circled the hall. The Madgod must have felt eyes upon him, for a moment later, he looked up and his gaze locked over hers. Bellatrix lifted her chin and arched a brow, though this only drew a smile from Sheogorath, who lifted a hand and mockingly saluted the assassin. His lips suggested laughter, but his eyes held something darker and deeper; something Bellatrix could only place as anxiety and misery. She watched the madgod for only a moment longer before returning her eyes ahead and following Valania out into the bright courtyard of New Sheoth.
….
“We’re almost there, Lady Bellatrix,” Valania said after what seemed like several days of traveling melded into one. Bellatrix looked over to the high elven woman, blinking blearily several times in order to see her clearly.
“Didn’t you say that about two hours ago?” Bellatrix asked in a tone of mere curiosity, though Valania arched a brow, able to see right through the guise. The high elven woman returned her gaze back to the road ahead then before she replied lightly, “Ye certainly are an impatient one.”
“When it comes to missions such as this, yes, I am. Can’t we ride any faster?”
Without waiting for a response, Bellatrix clicked her tongue at her horse. The animal snorted almost indignantly, though after a few seconds, the stallion picked up his pace. Unable to keep back a smile, Bellatrix lifted her chin as wind swept past her, brushing against her skin like the tips of soft feathers. She suddenly felt so free and more alive than she had in almost two years- the sharp, brisk air of the Isles was intoxicating, while the sounds of rushing water and birdsong lifted her spirit.
“Bellatrix!” Valania shouted after what seemed like only seconds. “Xedilian!”
The assassin reined in her horse, drawing a whinny from the animal. Her gaze swiveled to the left, settling over the moss-stained stone bridge that led up to a massive, engraved wooden door. On the bridge stood a creature that looked like a twisted frog. It held a knife in one hand, a club in the other, and from its protruding lower jaw dripped slimy, murky green saliva.
“A grummite,” Valania mumbled under her breath, dismounting from her horse a moment later and drawing a blade from her saddle. She seemed to briefly consider her blade, but, after a moment, she looked to Bellatrix and smiled, saying, “ye get this one, Bella. Ye should get used to them- Xedilian’s infected with the things.”
Bellatrix did not even hesitate. She slid down from her horse’s back, lithely drawing her blade as she began to stalk towards the grummite. Her steps were light and silent and she did not dare draw breath. The grummite, however, easily picked up her scent. It gave an odd sort of grumble; it almost sounded like it was trying to form words. It rushed towards Bellatrix, who caught the blade of the creature’s knife with her own. She then twisted and ducked low, kicking out her right leg to catch the creature’s, sending it flying to the ground. Letting out a low snarl Bellatrix plunged her knife into the grummite’s throat. A weak, low gurgle came from its mouth before it fell still and limp, life slipping from its body. Bellatrix removed her knife, cleaned it on the grummite’s loincloth and got to her feet. She felt a small stab of pride at how easily the thing had gone down- it had been quite some time since she had been in combat, too.
“How unfortunate,” Valania commented when she reached Bellatrix’s side. She studied the dead body of the grummite and snorted. “Too easy for ye, Bella.”
“A child’s target,” Bellatrix replied, surprising even herself with the grave tone. “Come on. We’ll be cleanin’ this place out of these.”
“I’m ready when ye are.”
Bellatrix smirked faintly. After she had twirled her blade once, the assassin strode towards the doors to Xedilian with a confidence she really only partially felt. Only for a little while did she trace the patterns in the door with her forefinger, her eyes narrowing a bit when she heard a faint sound from within. Finally she curled her fingers around the handle and pulled. She gritted her teeth at the grinding, unpleasant groan the hinges gave, and as soon as there was enough room for her and Valania to slip through, she did so, sparing their ears of more torment. The first chamber was small and dimly lit with a single low-burning torch. Valania immediately when to take it, murmuring a few faint words that caused the fire to mount, whilst Bellatrix drifted to the gate closing them off from the rest of the inner temple.
“These doors always open somewhere else,” Bellatrix muttered to herself, searching already for a switch or a lever, or even a stone that seemed somewhat out of place. “A trigger or something…”
“Sort of like this, eh?”
Bellatrix tottered back as the gate started to rise. Her eyes flickered to Valania, who smiled and tapped an odd stone with what looked like a glowing face engraved upon it.
“Right,” the assassin replied slowly. “Just like that.”
Valania gave a little wink as she stepped through the arch and into the first massive chamber of Xedilian. It was dim, the vaulted ceiling shrouded in darkness. Bellatrix quickly scanned the place, her ears perking as the croak of a grummite reached them. Her fingers curled further around the cool hilt of her dagger, her fingers already accustomed to the comforting feeling of the metal against her skin. She crept along the wall to the stairwell, biting her lip as she assessed the chamber. There were two grummites wandering about the grand hall, croaking and schlepping about aimlessly with staves in their webbed hands.
“Right,” Bellatrix muttered, her gaze remaining on the grummites. “You take one, Valania, I take one. Yeah?”
“Of course,” Valania replied quietly. “I would be disappointed if ye took ‘em both for yerself.” The high elven woman didn’t waste any more time with chatter. She slipped around Bellatrix as fire swirled up around her hands. Both of the grummites were drawn to her like flies to honey; and this was when Bellatrix joined the fray. Her knives twirled quickly, slashing deep into grummite flesh. Murky green blood splattered over the stone floor and up along the side of a pale blue crystal that jutted up from the base of a pillar. Bellatrix’s nose wrinkled as she cleaned her blades, though it was not because of the blood- Valania had burned her grummite alive, and the heavy, raw stench of burning membrane and flesh was sharp in the already musty air.
“Lovely,” Bellatrix commented. “Val- don’t you have any other way to get rid of the things?”
Valania snorted. “Not if ye want them gone quickly- and trust me, ye do.”
‘Wonderful,’ Bellatrix thought dryly, though she did not voice this as Valania lead the way towards another gate at the far end of the dim, vaulted chamber. Bellatrix let her gaze wander over the tall, crumbling pillars and piles of rubble, but soon, Valania had pushed the next face-stone into the wall, and the gate slowly rose up to open the way to the next vaulted, fire-lit chamber. There was a set of steep steps that went down to the main ground, but another set of steps also led up to the next gateway- a gateway blocked by a huge grummite wielding a staff topped with a pale blue crystal.
“Aha,” Valania murmured. “So that is why it’s not working properly. Damn grummites took the stones.”
“Stones?”
“Focus Crystals,” Valania replied softly. “They used to be set in the Judgment Nexuses, but I suppose the grummites decided to change that. We gotta get rid of that bugger- fuck!”
Bellatrix suddenly found herself on the ground next to Valania, who had yanked her down to avoid impalement by grummite arrow. Bellatrix leapt to her feet like a cat a second later, rushing towards the grummite that had fired at them without a second thought. Her knife tore into the creature’s skin and she ignored the pain that flared up in her arm when another grummite fired at her, the arrow grazing her flesh. Blood swelled from the wound, though Bellatrix barely noticed, her attention drawn away from her wound as fire swirled past her to strike the second grummite.
Whilst Valania fought, Bellatrix slipped lithely past her own fallen grummite, heading for the one gripping the staff in one webbed hand. It croaked and raised a finger as she neared, sending lightning flashing towards her- though it struck the rock and sent rubble flying as the assassin rolled out of the way. She felt a trickle of blood running from her cheek, though she merely brushed it out of the way and leapt at the grummite witch, drawing her other dagger from her belt. The creature panicked and swatted at Bellatrix with the staff, the focus crystal catching her jaw and leaving a line of blood from the bottom of her ear to her chin. Bellatrix snarled and inwardly cursed before flying at the grummite once more. It slammed back to the ground as Bellatrix’s body collided with its, and it struggled for only a moment, falling still and limp when the cold silver of the assassin’s knife plunged into its throat.
“Val,” Bellatrix rasped hoarsely. “What do I do with the crystal?”
“The nexus,” Valania replied, schlepping up to the top of the stairs, brushing a few stray locks of her hair back. Bellatrix nodded and reached for the pale blue focus crystal, tearing it from the top of the staff. She staggered to her feet then, smiling faintly and waving the crystal as she turned to the nexus. When she placed it in the center, it gave a soft click and slowly rose, giving off a pale glow.
“How many more of these are there?” she asked as her gaze turned to Valania.
“Two more,” was the elven woman’s reply. “Come.”
She swiveled towards the next gate, and Bellatrix took an unwavering breath prior to following after her guide, wiping blood from her jaw.
The next two focus crystals, though difficult to locate, were fairly easy to regain from the grummites that held them captive. Bellatrix received several more bruises and another cut under her ear over the course of the small skirmishes, though it was near effortless to ignore the wounds while they focused on the task of locating the nexuses.
Eventually they came to a massive chamber in which a giant pale blue crystal was housed, sprouting from the ground opposite the door. The Attenuator of Judgment started to buzz and hum as they approached the giant crystal, trembling faster when Bellatrix held it close to the glassy surface.
“Here, Bella,” Valania offered, placing her hand over a spot in the crystal, where a small indent was. Bellatrix shifted over and pressed the Attenuator into the spot; immediately there was a soft ringing sound and the giant crystal began to shine, pale blue light radiating from the core, bathing Bellatrix’s face in the glow. The assassin felt a tingle go down her spine, and a moment later, a familiar voice murmured a faint, “well done, my fair lass,” deep in the back of her mind. Bellatrix closed her eyes and listened, for the briefest second, to the echo of his voice, if only for the strange sense of comfort it gave her- an odd sense of pride, as though she had finally done something right for the first time in her life. She looked up at the crystal and allowed herself a small smile, though a moment later, Valania took her arm and said, “come, Bella. Lord Sheogorath will want to know of yer success.”
“How do we get outta here?” Bellatrix asked after pausing to consider telling Valania that she suspected Sheogorath already knew, but she quickly decided to keep that to herself.
“The resonator pad up ahead,” Valania replied, nodding towards a gate through which was a glowing, pulsating stone set into the floor. Valania pushed a stone in the wall, which in turn raised the gate, allowing access into the resonator chamber.
“Ye go first,” Valania ordered. “Just step on and it should take ye right up to the entry chamber.”
Bellatrix only got to hesitate for an instant. Before she could speak, Valania pushed her up onto the resonator, and a vortex of glimmering, star-like light whirled up around her, kicking up a small wind and sending her hair flying. Bellatrix squeezed her eyes shut, though within a split second the vortex was gone and she found herself in not the entry hall, but another, smaller chamber. Slowly she stepped down from the resonator and studied the chamber, her eyes soon locating a red-robed man hunched over a table, flipping rapidly through a small book.
“Er- excuse me,” Bellatrix began, and immediately the man jumped, his red eyes fixing widely over the assassin.
“Oh, thank the gods!” the dark elf cried, his voice cracking as he shuffled over to Bellatrix, enthusiastically shaking one of her hands. “I was wondering when Sheogorath would send someone to help me- Oh! Two of you! Brilliant.”
Valania had appeared on the resonator pad as the dark elf spoke and he hurried over to her as well, taking her hand excitedly. The high elven woman arched a brow, though she warily said, “Well met, sir.”
“Well met, well met indeed!” he chuckled. “So I assume you two are the ones that got the nexuses fixed and the main Resonator up and running, hmm?”
“If you meant that giant crystal, then yes,” Bellatrix replied, her lips quirking into a slight smile when the dark elf’s eyes lit up.
“Wonderful! Well, that means that the poor folks who wandered in here earlier will be the first to be tested- this is brilliant. You know, I am rather glad you showed up- it would probably be best if an agent of Lord Sheogorath decided the fates instead of myself, not that I doubt my judgment, mind you, but-“
“Sir,” Bellatrix interjected wearily, “please. Just tell me what I have to do. And what we should call you- that might help.”
“Oh- my name is Killiban, miss,” the dark elf replied, bowing cordially to Bellatrix. “And all you have to do is simple- the group comes in, you push one of two buttons, and they either go insane or are ended. Mania and Dementia, you see?”
Although she didn’t, Bellatrix nodded and her eyes followed Killiban as he scuffled over to a balcony overlooking a large, well-lit room. A grate was built into the floor, reminding Bellatrix much of the arena back in the Imperial City. A strange sense of homesickness washed over her, though she soon pushed it back as voices reached her ears. Killiban slipped away and the lights in the upper chamber Bellatrix was in dimmed down.
“Just stay close and follow my lead. We’ll be outta here in no time, boys.”
A male orc’s voice preceded it’s owner, and after he had stepped into the room, a dark elven man in green robes and a Breton in leather armor stepped down as well, warily eyeing the chamber they had entered. Once they had gathered near the grate, peering down into the abyss locked beneath it, a faint ring echoed softly near Bellatrix’s ear. The assassin’s gaze slid first to her left, to the stone that had begun to shimmer a pale blue, then to her right, to the pale orange stone.
“Mania on the right,” Valania whispered in her ear. “Dementia on the left. Choose wisely, Bella.”
Bellatrix already knew her choice- Dementia would lead to an unnecessary death; and though it was not directly by her hand, she would still have caused it. The assassin reached out and pressed on the orange stone. A grinding sound began to reverberate around the chamber, a form starting to swell up from the grate. Soon, a massive, tree-like being had materialized before the group, startling Bellatrix as well. It had at least five root-like appendages for legs and two huge branch-arms from which vines sprouted and sliced through the air.
“Take it down!” the dark elven man shouted as the tree-creature let out a deep, loud growl, heading straight for the Breton dressed in leather. While it seemed to be solid to the other two, it passed right through the man, leaving him cowering on the ground behind it. He had soon scrambled to his feet, however, only to be charged down by the creature yet again. It flailed its branchlike arms, screeching and toppling over the leather-clad Breton like an angry wave in a storm-ridden sea. The dark elf was trying to shoot fire at the creature, his expression only one of rage when they passed through it, whilst the orc swung his axe through empty air as he tried to chop the creature’s root-legs. Bellatrix watched in horror as the Breton man fell to the ground, sobbing and whimpering, his entire body shaking. The tree-creature suddenly evaporated, leaving an echo of a snarl hanging in the dead air.
“D-doesn’t work,” the leather-clad Breton mumbled. “I- I should be dead. Shouldn’t- doesn’t… Why?”
“Lewin? The dark elf asked hesitantly, but the man merely rolled away, hysterically sobbing, “no- stay back Stay away!”
“Leave him, Syndelius,” the orc growled. “He’s useless- We’ll pick him up on the way outta here.”
“I don’t like this place, Grommok,” Syndelius grumbled under his breath, but whatever Grommok said in reply was lost as they slipped into the next stairwell. Bellatrix backed away slowly from the railing after watching Lewin for nearly half a minute, turning as Killiban chuckled and said in a tight, excited tone, “oh, I do love to watch that. They always scream so nicely… Anyways, are we all ready to head to the next part of the madhouse, hmm?”
Bellatrix eyed Killiban as she stepped into the next chamber, but she clenched her eyes shut once more when she hopped up onto the resonator pad. The vortex swirled anew, delivering Bellatrix into a chamber almost identical to the one previous to it. Within a minute both Killiban and Valania appeared, the latter trailing after Bellatrix to the next balcony that overlooked a dark room. In this chamber was a raised platform upon which was a mound of gold and valuable jewels, glimmering like stars under the dim firelight. These jewels, however, were trapped within an iron cage, the bars too thin and close for a hand to slip through.
“We’ll be outta here quickly, Syndelius, I can feel it.”
“Whatever you say, Grommok,” the dark elf answered wearily- though Bellatrix could see his face brighten in the dim firelight once his greedy eyes had settled over the gold. The elf rushed past his green comrade, scrambling up the steps to the cage and gripping the bars. Bellatrix was already reaching for the orange stone when Syndelius said hungrily, “look at all of it, Grommok- we’re rich! It’s what we came here for! We’re rich!”
Grommok didn’t seem nearly as impressed by the gold as his companion, though he did remark, “too bad Lewin isn’t here.”
The bell sounded; Bellatrix pushed in the orange stone and her attention was drawn away from the two idiots gaping at the gold, fixing instead on the waterfall of brass keys that cascaded from the ceiling, clattering nosily on the stone floor. Syndelius practically flew down the stairs, landing on his knees before the keys and digging his hands into the pile, laughing almost manically as he lifted some and let them slip from his grasp like sand.
“Look at this, Grommok!” he cried. “One must fit the lock! One of them! We’re rich! One of them will fit!”
“Sad thing is,” Killiban’s voice said in Bellatrix’s ear then, causing her to jump. “None of them fit.” He giggled, then took the assassin’s arm and began to lead the way towards the last resonator pad.
“What’s going to happen to them, Killiban?” Bellatrix asked then, her brow creasing. “To these three?”
“They will all find a place in the isles,” Killiban replied, ushering Valania into the chamber after Bellatrix. “They will be taken care of, my Lady. Don’t you worry- no worrying.”
“I hate it when people say that,” Valania muttered, and Bellatrix snorted in agreement prior to stepping up onto the third pad. Once she had reached the last chamber, her nose wrinkled immediately at the putrid smell of rotting flesh. The assassin actually gagged a little, feeling a wave of nausea turn her stomach. Her gaze, however, was not drawn to the hanging bodies over the balcony, but to a faintly pulsing crystal near the back of the chamber. As Valania swore when she appeared, Bellatrix drifted to the crystal and her brow creased as she lifted it slowly from its table. It was warm and pulsed against her hand- almost like a heart’s beat.
“What are you doing?”
As Killiban’s voice came in her ear, Bellatrix started again and cursed as the crystal slipped from her startled grasp. She attempted to catch it, but it fell fast and hard, shattering on the harsh stone. A faint sound, almost like a sigh, slipped into the air as smoke curled up from the glimmering shards, fading into nothing within an instant.
“You know what I hate?” Bellatrix began lowly.
“What?”
“People who sneak up on me,” Bellatrix said sharply. “Now move it, dunmer.”
She was starting to feel her patience wearing thin, and as she approached the third balcony, she silently prayed it was the last. Human corpses hung everywhere, while some were nailed to the wall. As Grommok entered, he began to speak to himself, though his fear was evident.
“You’ve been through worse before, ol’ chap,” he grumbled. “Just stay calm and you’ll make it out alive.”
For the third time the bell sounded, and for the third time, Bellatrix pushed the orange stone into the wall. There was a grinding sound and a hard clank as a ball of bright magic shot right for Grommok. The orc collapsed immediately in a crumpled heap- for a brief moment, Bellatrix panicked, thinking she had killed the innocent man. A second later, however, a silvery, ghostlike apparition rose from the body.
“W-what?” it murmured. “D-dead? How can I be dead? Nothing hit me- nothing came at me. No chance… I had no chance.. How? How!?”
Bellatrix caught her lower lip between her lips- she could no longer stand it. The assassin felt tears sting her eyes as she turned away and strode across the chamber to the fourth resonator pad, stepping up once more. Valania slowly followed after her, her expression almost sad as her eyes met Bellatrix’s for only an instant before the assassin vanished.
When Bellatrix next emerged, she found herself in a larger chamber- one that she knew must lead out. After saying a silent prayer, Bellatrix slowly slunk up the stairs and peered around the corner- directly into the entry hall. Valania was soon at her side, looking just as relieved, whilst Killiban’s voice said, “well, that was exciting. Thank you, my lady, for getting Xedilian back in business. You are free-“
Before he could finish, however, a horrid, high-pitched grinding erupted around the hall. Pale blue crystals spurted up from the ground, just as strange beings that looked almost to be made of ice bounded up the stairs. There were five of them, each wielding a sword and each bringing a sense of peculiar foreboding to Bellatrix’ stomach. When they caught sight of the other three, the ice-beings bounded right for them.
Valania immediately sprang into action, felling two with powerful blasts of fire, whilst Bellatrix locked one in combat, eventually dicing its head off with her blade. Another leapt at her back, the tip of its blade sinking an inch into her calf. Bellatrix snarled in pain before she turned sharply, her dagger plunging into the being’s chest and without mercy she tore straight down. As its torso was rent apart, Bellatrix suddenly felt as though all warmth had been drained from her body. Something was pulling it inwards- the abyss of the being’s empty body was drawing away her warmth and replacing it with a deep, unfathomable chill. She staggered back, leaning against a pillar as Valania finished off the last one.
“Bella,” she muttered, placing a steady hand on the assassin’s shoulder. “You alright?”
“Yeah,” Bellatrix replied a few short moments later. She pushed herself away from the pillar, saying, “let’s- head back, yes?”
“Yes,” Valania agreed, and her tone was grave as she said, “Lord Sheogorath needs to know that the Knights of Order, the underlings of Jyggalag, have returned to the Isles once more.”

“Ah, wonderful! You’re back! But… Oh my. Lass, you look terrible.”
As Bellatrix staggered wearily into the throne hall, Valania following behind, Sheogorath stood and tossed Haskill his staff. He trotted quickly down the stairs before his throne, closing the space between himself and Bellatrix within a few moments. Bellatrix was about to speak, though Sheogorath merely shook his head and shifted closer, gently taking her chin in his hand. The chill that had settled deep in her body since she had slain the Knight of Order was suddenly washed away as the warmth from the Madgod’s touch seeped through her entire body. Bellatrix, too tired to turn away from him now, settled with remaining somewhat tense, muttering, “I h-hated that place.”
“It hated you,” Sheogorath snorted, lifting his free hand. Lightly he ran his fingertip along her cut jaw and the skin immediately began to mend back together as though it had never been broken. “Did you get everything up and running, lass?”
His thumb stretched then to heal her cheek, but Bellatrix reached up and caught his hand gently in her own, her sapphire gaze hardening marginally as it locked onto Sheogorath’s.
“Yes,” she replied, her grip tightening reassuringly around Sheogorath’s hand. She released it then, though her gaze never left the madgod’s. “Xedilian is up and running, Lord Sheogorath.”
Sheogorath seemed almost dejected for the briefest of instants as he lowered his hand, though a few seconds later he smiled and said with a hint of pride, “you’ve done well, Bellatrix. Very well. Now… Go get some rest. Am I too forward to request your presence here in the throne room tomorrow morning?”
Unable to help a slight smirk, Bellatrix replied, “a little forward, yes- though I suppose I can humor you.” She arched a brow ever so slightly, then smiled a genuine smile before pivoting and striding away, briefly catching Valania’s eye. The high elven woman mouthed, ‘he adores ye, Bella,’ and winked, disappearing from view a moment later. Bellatrix rolled her eyes skywards, though her smile returned and a faint pink colour rose in her ears- perhaps she would grow to love the Isles after all.
Okay, finally chapter three. ^^
I dun like. But whatev.
...

Still there, are we? Continue the journey ~~~> [link]
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A Little Introduction

While this is called the 'Team Fortress Character Guide', a lot of the information contained within can be applied to fan characters with many different origins.

Team Fortress 2. A team-based FPS romp through a crazy little world set in an alternate universe version of the 1960s. With a story told mostly through comics and official timelines, an economy based on hats, accessories and bizarre weapons, and a very blurred line between reality and fiction, the game has many fans and an incredible potential for fan fiction. Where there is potential, there are stories...and unfortunately, when stories are written, Mary Sue tends to rear her speshul snowflake head. Mary waltzes in through the Fortress doors and, like a black hole, she warps the very fabric of time and space around herself to fit her needs. Also like a black hole, it's hard to tell where Mary will show up next. Alright, ladies and gents. Mission begins in ten seconds. Last one alive, lock the door!

Deploy a Backstory, here!

This is the essence of a character. Give them a good one, because your past defines you in ways that you don't even know. Amnesia is generally a bad route. There are multiple kinds of amnesia and multiple causes for each, and unfortunately the brain doesn't work immediately, so it sometimes takes years for an afflicted person to regain things, if they ever do. Try to avoid an overly-abusive childhood. If your character does have a particularly nasty childhood, the worst thing you can do is have the character whine about it all the time. Generally when people experience terrifying events, they refuse to talk about it. Above all, be logical and historically accurate. Even in the crazy world of TF2, there is a history that you have to follow. As for how your character gets into the mercenaries, they have to know what they're getting into. The motto of Mann Co. is 'We sell things and get in fights'. RED and BLU hire mercenaries, not secretaries. They would be legally required to mention 'Oh, by the way, you're going to kill people.'

Prepare for your examination...

I'm going to go ahead and say this. A girl with oversized breasts, a skinny waist, stick-thin limbs or muscle-less arms is not going to be a good fighter. Maybe it's just because I've taken a lot of health classes, but it drives me absolutely crazy when I see little girls(usually their age is early to late teens, but they're usually so skinny they look like 6-10 year olds) with the title 'Heavy'. The Heavy's minigun, Sasha, weighs 150 kilograms. If your character only weighs 90 kilograms, they probably won't be able to lift Sasha, let alone be able to carry 'her' while 'she' fires 200 rounds per minute...and that doesn't even get into the weapons with kick-back. (Not the Insecticon, the force of momentum from a discharged gun.) Soldier's rocket launchers have exhaust ports in the back to account for recoil, but the hand-held weapons don't account for it, so you're getting the force of it. Thin characters are much more acceptable with Snipers, Spies or Scouts, but a Scout has to have quite long, muscular legs to run with. Long, unbound hair is dangerous. Long hair is easy to grab, easy to get tangled in things, and incredibly easy to light on fire, especially in the era of beehives and gallons of aerosol hairspray.On that note, abnormal hair colors tend to stray towards Sue category. Most people didn't have hot pink or electric blue streaks in their hair. If there was any hair highlighting at all, it was just a slight bleaching.

You're a disgrace to the uniform!

Skimpy clothing, exposed skin, unbound hair, skin-tight clothing, graphic T-shirts...please stay away from these. I'm very much aware that this is the same universe that lets you wear a giant eyeball for a hat, but since Saxton Hale can recognize hippies on sight, the world still runs on the fashions of the late 60s. The early years of the 60s were a lot like the 50s. Women were dressed conservatively, usually in little dresses with pleated skirts, silk gloves for formal occasions, and rather simple patterns. If a woman wore pants, she wore them for only the most casual occasions. Pants weren't popular in the workplace for women, pants were never worn to school, and they were really only acceptable at home. The latter half of the 60s gave birth to the fashions everyone remembers. Bell-bottom pants, belly buttons, wide collars, floral patterns, miniskirts and go-go boots. That being said, it ruins the illusion when a character, especially a girl, shows up in, say, a graphic T-shirt and a pair of baggy jeans. Another problem with exposed skin, skin-tight clothing and unbound hair is that it's impractical for battle. If your character is prancing around on a battlefield with exposed flesh, they are a prime target for bullets, hits with a baseball bat, syringes, lasers, and fire especially.

Here's a gadget you should build...

Unless your character comes from, say, the future or the 'real world', you should not have an I-Pod. In the TF2 Canon, the only place that would have technology like that is Australia and possibly Mann Co. However, Mann Co. exists to 'sell products and get in fights', so most of their technology is used for weapons or silly hats, and judging from the fact that the rest of the world still seems to have developed along the same technological path that the real world did in the 60s and 70s, Australians are very stingy with their technology. In some cases, a person from the future or the 'real world' can work well, but it's harder to pull off.

You're a wee lil' lass, ye are!

Age is important! While there aren't really canon ages for the mercenaries, most of them are older males. Scout is an obvious exception(although one of his items says he's 23). As for the others, with possible exceptions of Sniper and Pyro, these are grown men, hardened from years of war, hardship, getting 12 PhDs or misplacing skeletons. I have seen a lot of underaged Medics and Engineers. You can't graduate high school at 14. Child prodigy or not, it is extremely difficult to skip a grade, let alone several. I skipped kindergarten because I could already read at that age, but the school officials were completely against the idea until my parents proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Everyone thinks I'm just a one-eyed bloody monster...

The pinnacle of Fortre-Sues is that everyone loves them, everyone hates them, or the worst one, which is everyone important loves the Sue and anyone who doesn't is evil/a jerk/creepy/humiliated, etc. And usually, everyone loves/hates the Sue before they've even met him or her. This can be justified with some characters,(I.e, Pyro, Scout, and possibly Engineer. Pyro sees the world as a magical rainbow candyland and just wants to 'play' with the 'cherubs' of BLU Team, so he/she/it/the Pyro loves pretty much everyone and everything. Scout's a womanizer and Engy's usually a soft-spoken, hospitable ol' boy.) but you're going to have some trouble befriending a man who avoids everyone else and throws his own piss.

Lot o' good that Soldier training did ya!

I mentioned this earlier, but the character has to know what they're getting into. They need some training or at least experience. That's why people in the army go through boot camp. You can't just pick up a gun and expect to know everything about it.
Even if there's no specific 'training' they can go through, they should have experience. Sniper spent years in the wilderness hunting animals, which prepared him for spending time up in high places, shooting Scouts. Pyro...let's just leave that one alone. The fact that Spy can instantly kill someone with a single backstab implies that he's been doing it for years.

I could go into a lot more detail, but these are the most obvious ones that apply to TF2 Sues. It's always important to pay attention to the details of the world your character is from!
I've been seeing some Mary Sues in TF2 fandom for quite some time now...
And honestly, it's been annoying. There are better ways to make a decent characters than making someone with a tiny waist and giant breasts...
This isn't meant to be hateful or mean towards anyone. I do not want to offend anyone's fan characters, I just think there are some things that need to be done.

Edit: Eee! This has only been here a short time and already I've got such a positive response!
Even if you guys critiqued it, I'd still be happy. I love hearing opinions from others, it helps me figure out what to improve. <3
It's not an immense number of likes and favorites, but I'm still extremely thankful to all of you!
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Writing Realistically . . . According to the Universe



I’m sure I’ve told you that you have to be as realistic as possible in order for your character to seem, well, real.  Believable.  Three dimensional.  Someone who can practically pop out of your writing or comic and interact with you.  The truth is that was half of an exaggeration.  Yes, be real, but only as real as the universe it takes place in is.  If the universe is more manga-esque or cartoony where the average female can punch a burly person sky-high, and you create a character who doesn‘t do anything of that sort, or if you as the creator think you can‘t do that, then your character can become quite plain because you‘ll restrict yourself.  Basically, be as real, or as loose, as the universe is.  

If you’re a person who constantly makes the, “This is totally unrealistic” comment when reading a story, especially in fan fiction, there is probably a reason for it, and shouldn’t be docked down points until all of the attributes are observed.

Realism vs. The Universe



One of the biggest complaints I’ve read that I’ve even noted about it as well, are women’s breast size.  As silly as that is, this one thing raises so many red flags that the female character may be a Mary-Sue.  Female characters, especially the more important characters, in original stories or fan fiction, can’t have sexual appeal or be endowed in the chest area?  Moreover, who’s to say that having big breasts are even sexually appealing?  (I’m not a guy, so I probably wouldn‘t understand it even if a guy explained it to me.)  I also explained in “Things You Need to Know” that physical description shouldn’t matter too much as long as there is some reason behind it.  In that part, I said, “They only become MS traits when it’s without reason, like having big boobs when the character is only thirteen”; however, if the universe’s thirteen year olds have a DD chest naturally, then you can certainly make your character have a large chest without it having fingers pointing at her.  Or him if that‘s how the universe works.

In the Naruto fandom, there are fans that have made female characters, and many of them do have larger than B cup breasts.  As much as an inconvenience to having large breasts should be to a female ninja, it’s genetics and hormones in food that give them that size, so it‘s not the character‘s fault.  Besides, you don’t hear Tsunade, the biggest breasted ninja around, complaining about her assets.  She doesn’t even bind them or wear a bra.  In fact, you don’t hear any of the female characters complaining about their chests!  

Also in Naruto, even though the majority of these characters are fighting during their missions, they don’t wear much armor, and yet those who make fan/original characters without armor get the brunt end of the Mary-Sue Killers for not being real enough.  The most armor I’ve seen on the average canon character are the clothes on their backs, their headbands, and a vest if they‘ve earned that rank.  That’s it.  No one wears flexible chain mail, helmets, some wear kneepads and elbow pads, and only a few wear leg or arm plates.  Yet the fans that make characters for their stories have to think about armor in order for their character to seem realistic?  If you want more realism in something like this, complain to the creators, not the fans who imitate what they see.

Even the character’s background stories, and how it affects the character’s personality, can be unrealistic in some universes according to certain psychological studies.  Have you really ever met someone who was so shy that they actually fainted (on more than one occasion) whenever the person he or she liked talked to them?  Or, a person who seemed to be on a constant sugar-high with no crash?  How about someone who has a patience of a saint, and never ever seems to get mad, even in the most frustrating of situations?  It’s fun to compare your friends to these kinds of characters, but you’ll realize that you haven’t really met anyone with those kinds of personalities.  None of these examples are realistic character personality traits, and yet used in animated shows.  Granted, those characters aren’t like that one hundred percent of the time, but are like that most of the time.  They are fictional cartoons and aren’t supposed to be taken seriously, so writing in those kinds of universe, fan fiction or original fictions, should be looser, than realistic, depending on what kind of story you’re writing.  

Of course, all of this would also work the other way around.  You wouldn’t see a guy able to survive on the moon without the space suit on in the real-world kind of story.  If you wanted to write in a historical, realistic, universe, then you definitely need to do your research.  Japan, where there would be ninjas, you would have to do extensive research on the clothes, weapons, and why they needed ninjas.  Unbelievably, kunai knives weren’t made to be thrown, and ninjas can‘t disappear in a puff of smoke.  They were more spies than assassins.  Guns in the US civil war era were wildly inaccurate, hence the saying, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes,” otherwise it was just plain luck that someone actually hit someone at a farther distance.  There are Native American tribes who honor homosexual people and called them two-souls because they had both the feminine and masculine aspect in their soul.  I could list on and on that even some realistic historical fiction overlook them, but I think you get the message.  

In realistic fiction, you have to stick with the facts.  Period.  In unrealistic fiction, do what Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”  In addition, even though fan fiction is based on already published media, the fans still have to study whatever the universe they’re going to be writing.

I’ve said before that Mary-Sues are often unrealistic in one way or another, but are they Sues only because of the universe it takes place where, in actuality, they fit in?  If so, then the character you’re calling a Sue isn’t a Sue.  The character is just unrealistic when compared to the real-life universe.

When is a Character or Story “Realistic”?



Basing on what the universe is like is the question of realism.  The universe is the base, the soil—a fictional “Earth”.  The story is the tree, and the characters are the leaves.  The universe itself has to have a type of environment that’s balanced.  What’s the history?  How much pollution is there?  Is it mostly rainy, or is it dry?  What are the communities like?  Are there any major religions?  What are the taboos and superstitions like?  How does all of this and more affect what’s happening in the present?  Does this affect the story or the characters?

The last question’s answer should be an obvious ‘yes’.  The universe, no matter what it is, will always have an affect on the story and characters.

Study how the world in which you create, or whatever was created, works, and then work on the plot.  What’s the villain planning, and how will it be stopped?  How does the guy get the girl (or guy if he swings that way)?  What is your idea of a good story?  Work out a timeline or something.  After you at least have a basic idea of what you want to happen, work on the characters (refer to “Things You Need to Know”).  Balance the universe, the story, and the characters.  Once the tree is in full bloom, the fruit will grow, telling you that your story is good, and “realistic”, no matter how many physics laws are broken in your universe.  

As long as you think your story’s good, that’s all that really matters, but it doesn’t hurt to listen to a critic occasionally, especially when it doesn’t make sense from the reader’s point of view.  You as the creator know all of the answers, and so leaving the readers clueless even after the ending is bad.  If you can’t fit a major detail in the story, and it’s an important detail, that tends to be a bad sign.  Don’t write the story with plot holes and missing information, even if you plan to write a handbook for the book/series (i.e.: Twilight, by Stephenie Meyers).  Even if it’s tiring, and boring, think of your readers.  The details and explanations, no matter how mundane, are important to someone.  It’s better that it be in the story itself than in a handbook, but, then again, even if you have all the details fit into it, there will always be someone with questions, so maybe a trivia book answering these questions wouldn’t be a bad idea, however, finish your story first before you get into that.

If everything in the universe, the story and your characters are explained, it’s “realistic” enough.

When the Real-Life Universe Isn’t Real Enough



If the otherwise fictional story takes place in the real-world universe, then the laws of physics have to be followed just as the characters have to be limited to being realistic.  This still especially applies when the story is claiming to be the real-world, even when there are additives to it (i.e.: magic, vampires and werewolves, monsters, and other fantasy and superstition inspired fiction).

Because I am tired of picking on the House of Night series, I’m going to pick on the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers, merely because it serves as a better example.

The Twilight universe is set in the real-world with the addition of vampires, werewolves (although none actually made an appearance), and shape shifters (the werewolf wannabes).  I have read the four book series, not including the story of Bree, nor the leaked Edward’s point of view version, and I have looked through the handbook guide, and it was merely mindless entertainment.  I liked reading it, I just wouldn’t read it if I wanted to read something more serious and in depth.  The story had marvelous conceivability, an original twist on the vampire mythology (despite that a lot of people despise the sparkly attribute), good potential in the villains, and, despite it seemingly a cliché idea, what would have been a great love triangle, except that Meyers could not execute the story at all well.  At some parts it was obviously tried too hard and other parts there wasn’t enough trying.  

The universe wasn’t at all the bad part—it was practically our world anyway—the physics laws stayed mostly in tact, and the surroundings had a great influence on the plot and characters.  It’s just that the story wasn’t fleshed out, the characters were ill-described whether actually describing them through adjectives, or describing them through action, but what really killed the story was the writing style, mostly because Meyers made her characters separate pieces of stereotypes.

Edward Cullen, the vampire heartthrob, acted like he hated Bella in the beginning, spied on her when she was sleeping for months, and probably followed her around most of the twenty-four hours in a day before he told her he was watching her.  He dumped her on various occasions for his own reasons without hearing her out, got extremely jealous when other guys were in the picture with Bella, all the while villainizing himself just because he’s a vampire and that he’s killed people before.  Despite all of that (great flaws!), Bella thinks he’s the perfect gentleman and loves him, ruining her and Edward in one fell swoop.

Jacob Black, the thought-to-be-werewolf-but-actually-a-type-of-shape shifter, is the seemingly perfect boyfriend: cute, cuddly, into cars and mechanics, and actually cares, despite all of the stolen kisses because he knows that Edward is practically carrying a picket sign saying “I’m emotionally abusive and am self-absorbed” and Bella, the one he initially loves, is suffering.  However, Bella just manipulates him for information, emotional support knowing his feelings for her, but didn’t tell him that it wouldn’t work out between them that way from the beginning, and just used him for her own gratification.  Then, as if it’s supposed to erase all of his heartache, he imprints with Bella’s daughter.  Therefore, overall, Jacob Black is just a pushover.

Then there’s Isabella “Bella” Swan, the human who has no interest in other human beings, so just ignores the people who immediately befriend her.  She criticizes herself constantly, calling herself either too plain or too ugly, despite all the people in her life telling her that she’s beautiful, or the fact that people had taken an immediate interest in her, and is overall defenseless and weak in the physical aspect as well as socially and mentally.  She also manipulates people, including Edward in order to gain a sexual favor (though it didn’t work on Edward), for her own benefit.  Basically, Bella is an overly lovesick, damsel in distress, teenager.

Since most of the story is in Bella’s perspective, you can probably guess how badly the story would be.  So much self-angst, self-criticism (which all too suddenly disappears as soon as she awoke as a vampire), and romance, with not nearly enough action especially when there were supposed to be fighting scenes because Edward didn’t want to put her in the line of fire.  A pathetic attempt at mental cracking in the form of hearing her beloved’s voice every time she did something dangerous, and a love triangle that wasn’t at all a love triangle because all she ever thought about was Edward, and becoming a vampire.  All of this affects the overall writing style, so it’s average; something you would find on preteen writing sites.  Also, some of the more supposedly powerful villains weren’t powerful at all.  Victoria was the real threat.  James was just the spark, and Laurent became a chew toy.  Not even the Volturi, the oldest vampires in existence, who set up the rules and enforced them with the help of the chosen vampires with special abilities, were even real villains.  They were just a broken record of threats.

Then there’s the overall writing style.  If you haven’t figured it out, the description between characters, action were mediocre at best, but there was better description in the setting.  Interactions between characters were either in the range of hardly having any important interaction, to super cheesy, as if you were watching one of those 1920’s romance films with over rehearsed lines, as if just one sentence would make all the years of hurt just disappear.  I appreciated the use of a thesaurus; however, Meyers overdid it a lot with words hardly anyone uses, especially not a seventeen-year-old girl.  

To summarize it, the universe is solid because Meyers hardly changed it.  There is a tree, but it’s in the middle of rotting because there’s so much she could have done with the plot, but didn’t.  There are hardly any leaves at all, and they are brown and cracked because only a few characters were developed, but the writing style was filled with exaggeration and euphemisms that it made even the more decently described characters bad.  Even with all of the potential the books had, there are no fruit, unless you count that Meyers earned millions of dollars on this story and is now rich beyond all reason, then money would equate to fruit.  Therefore, because of these errors the story and characters are deemed unrealistic in this real-life universe, and would make the story as a whole Mary-Sue.

Although, in the example of the Twilight series, I don’t think that the characters are Mary-Sues per se, because if they were stripped from the story and the writing style, then they are all balanced, it’s just that the priorities are skewed in terms of interaction between characters in the plot, and there’s a major issue with the overall writing style.  The main problem was the writing style, and that ruined the story.

In conclusion, there are times when realism is called for, and other times where you have to write in a more loose style.  If you keep restricting to the safe-zone of absolute realism, despite how hard it is writing in a realistic way when constantly questioning yourself if something is real or not, you’ll have a tougher time writing in looser kinds of universes where the realistic physics laws are often broken, whether for fantasy or comedic purposes.  Readers, you too need to read in both styles so you can tell the difference between realism, and the fact that most fiction does not take place in a realistic universe, so most characters shouldn’t be called Mary-Sue or Gary-stu because of the universe their lives takes place in.  The authors don’t have to state what kind of universe it is, it’s pretty simple to figure it out as
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How to Review Character Sheets



Everyone has there own way of making character sheets, whether you include them in stories, or just keep them as personal references.  Some deem the looks more of a top priority than the skills or hobbies.  Most include the “Likes and Dislikes” tab while others forgo it altogether.  For describing how to analyze character sheets, I will be using my own personal template as an example.

Character sheets aren’t needed.  If you include it, it’s usually the first sign of underdevelopment.

That’s not necessarily true.  Lots of people make character sheets whether if it’s as simple as the name, age, and looks, and others make it more complex, but they’re used to help the author keep the facts straight while writing the story.  It’s when people post the character sheets online that people make a big deal over it.  When people put up the character sheet in the first page, what usually happens is that the author doesn’t take the time to introduce or describe the character, especially when there’s a picture in the biography.  The authors end up thinking that the character sheet is a substitute for description.  However, if you make a character sheet and take the time to introduce and describe the character as needed, there isn’t a problem with having a character sheet published (there are some sites like Fiction Press and Fanfiction.net that explicitly state that character sheets aren’t allowed though).  Some people like looking at them, and some don’t.  For those that don’t like seeing them, just skip it—don’t automatically assume that the story is going to be poorly written.

Below is the kind of character sheet I use along with what each tab means.  I write all of the information as if the storyline hasn't been started yet because things can change at any time while writing it, and the only use for a character sheet is to keep the basic facts about the character straight. I also don’t write what’s going to happen in the story because there are some things that can be told, more accurately, through the story telling.  Character sheets aren’t accurate indicators of Mary-Sueism because you also need to read the actual story for the plot, and need to view the writing style itself.  It’s not all about the characters, but they are good to view to see if the creator has plans for development for the character, and whether or not the character fits into the universe.  This can work for the main characters, supporting characters and the minor characters if one wishes to.

Character Sheet Template

“The Title of the Story” (If you don’t have a permanent title, than either put whatever you have, or ‘Untitled.’)

Universe: If fanfiction, what series? Is it an alternate universe or a crossover?  If Original or alternate universe, which of these universes is it:

I) The Real-World: a story based on strictly of the real-world universe.  It can take place in the past, present, or future provided there is thorough research on technology, politics, economy, etc.  Having odd hair, eye and skin color are not allowed here, unless there are dyes and colored contacts.

(II) The Real-World Plus: a story based on the Real-World universe, but contains supernatural forces, like the existence of aliens, vampires, ghosts, or faeries, etc., or the available use of magic.  Having odd hair, eye and skin color are not allowed here, unless there are dyes and colored contacts.

(III)  Alternate:  while all or most of the physics laws remain unbroken, it’s not the Real-World universe.  This would include worlds like from The Lord of the Rings, by Tolkien, or Ender’s Game, by Scott Card.  The use of magic or the existence of otherworldly creatures can apply here.  Naturally odd hair, eye, and skin color can also be applied here.

(IV)  Complete Fiction: stuff that is mostly or completely implausible, compared to the Real-Life universe, but makes for a good story.  This includes most cartoons or anime like Bleach, by Kobe or Demon Diary, by Lee Yun Hee, but it’s only the more far-fetched or extreme plots.  Some anime and manga would belong to the other universes.  Storm Hawks would belong here too.  Naturally odd hair, eye and skin color can be applied here.

Describe a little of the setting: time period, what’s the main news (war, famine, etc.), is it the normal Real-World universe? What's different from the normal Real-World universe, if there’s a difference?  

Names plus Aliases: This is a given, but it should look something like, John "Jo" Doe. I don't list why I chose the name, because most of the time I don't have a reason; I choose it by random within reasonable boundaries.  The aliases can have some information attached to it, like if it’s a superhero name or something of more importance than just a nickname.

Species or Nationality: This is pretty much a given. If the person is a human, list the nationality. If the person is not a human, put down what his species is. This goes well with shinigami, vampires, etc. If the vampire, shinigami, or any human-like creature has a nationality, you can put that in.  If I decide that a human becomes a vampire, I don’t put that down because it’s part of the actual story telling.  Character sheets are about the universe and the character, not the plot.

Age: List the exact age.  If the character is immortal, tell the age range the character looks like.

Height: Feet, inches, centimeters, meters, just whatever measurement under a mile (unless the character is over a mile tall).

Weight: Whatever measurement that works well. You can use pounds, kilograms, etc.

Skin: The Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Scale would be great if people knew of it, but people can use the roman numerals, and describe the color of skin.  If the character isn’t exactly human, therefore has a bizarre skin tone, than you can just say what color the skin is.

Hair: Is it curly, wavy, or straight? What is the color? What is the length? In addition, what style is it usually in?

Eyes: What are the color, and whether or not the character needs corrective lenses?  If the character needs corrective lenses, what kind of glasses does the character have?  Is it thick, thin, for reading, or everyday vision problems.  Is the character near or far sighted?

Clothes: What kinds of clothes does the character have and likes? If the character is some sort of superhero or villain, what is the outfit?

Family: Who's deceased, who's alive, and who of their blood relatives is the character living with or often visits?

Friends: What's the name, and how long has the character known them. If the character doesn't have any friends, that is an option too.

Intended Partner:  You don’t have to answer this, especially if you don’t want to give anything away.  This is optional. If the story is within a fanfiction, and the intended partner is a canon character, then all that is needed is a name unless the fanfiction is an alternate universe. If the story is original or an alternate universe, then just put down the character’s name along with how the character would come to know him or her during the story. If there's going to be a love triangle, square, etc. and the author doesn't want to give away anything, list the characters as you would if it's fanfiction or original/alternate universe.  Keep note, if the intended partner is just one character, it can still change during the writing process—a creator’s mind is often filled with different paths.

Weapons: I'm referring to physical weapons like knives or bombs, not magic, psychic powers or martial art styles. This one is not always needed especially in the normal universe, so it is optional. If the character doesn't have any weapons, just put “None”.

Hobbies: On the character's spare time, what does he or she do?  It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything he or she is passionate about or is good at, it’s just what the character does when they have time.

Skills:  Does the character have any unusual talents? Alternatively, can do something that hardly anyone else in the world can do? This is where the magic and psychic stuff can come in, but it doesn't have to be that extreme. This is also, where the author can describe fighting style, strengths and the conditions under how their powers or skills wouldn't work—in other words, their weaknesses.

Goals: The character's own goals and you as the author's goals for the character. What lesson do you want this character to learn?  This shows that you do have some form of development in mind, but whether the character follows their own goals, or the authors, can only be told through the story.  It should look something like:
*For the character:  To get vengeance.
*For the author:  For him/her to learn how to trust others.

History: The basic and quick run through on the history of the character up to the start of the story. We don't need to know every place the character's been. If the character is immortal, what's one thing that changed the character's immortal life?  As I mentioned before, I write down anything, stopping at the beginning of the story, so you can write out the character’s life until that point where the story starts.  It can be several paragraphs long or just one paragraph—it’s up to the creator.

Additional Notes:  This is for anything else the author feels is important to add on to the character’s profile. Is there more information on the universe? Is there anything to add on the intended partner situation? What is the culture like?  What is considered “beautiful” or “healthy” in that culture?  Explain that you do have more information and thoughts, but didn’t want to reveal the story.  Anything.

What to Keep Note Of

The universe is one of the biggest things to keep in mind.  Some things may be acceptable in one world and be utterly impossible for the other.  Not everything is going to be 100 percent realistic, especially if the universe is going to be in the Complete Fiction where cats can talk, and people can float from their own will.  In the culture, maybe females that are more sought have a flat-chest than the bigger breasted.  Maybe they state a similar culture by name, and you don’t know what it’s like; in order for you to accurately critique the character sheet, you must look up whatever you don’t know.  They did enough naming the similar culture rather than describing all of it.

If you know me and my opinion of Mary-Sues well enough, you know that looks aren’t a big factor.  This includes the name, age, height, weight, skin, eyes, and clothes.  The main things you need to look at are if any of these doesn’t fit the culture or the universe.  If the character has expensive looking clothes, but is dirt poor, that should raise some red flags, but other than that it’s not a big deal really.  If it all fits, then check it off and move on.

The family, friends and intended partner are things that can only be described through story-telling, so it’s not a factor at all in Mary-Sueism, but it’s just good to know them.

Weapons, hobbies, and skills are also big aspects to look at.  Not every character will have a weapon, but all should have hobbies and skills.  If the weapon fits with the culture, or the character has a big interest in another culture’s weapons, then it fits, and it’s not a big deal.  Like I said in hobbies, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something the character is good at or is passionate about, but it still shows what the character likes doing when they have spare time.  Of the three, it’s skills that have to be looked at on a deeper level.  It shows both the talents/strengths and weaknesses.  If you’ve read “How Much Power is Too Much Power?” then you already know what to look for, but I’ll summarize it.

It’s easier to list strengths than weaknesses, and that is particularly why some people think that character sheets are underdeveloped; however there are those who know the weaknesses, but don’t want to list them and leave it to the story-telling to do that.  In the skills section, you need to be able to learn how to read between the lines a bit.  For example, for my character Blithe “Zusanna” Sutcliff, intended for a Black Butler fan fiction, I put:

“She’s able to hear bells (described more in detail under History), use magic, perform divination, and can speak and write in over 150 languages so she can obsess over her books and research.  She is more comfortable in a long to medium range fights.”  

A lot of the critique is going to be asking questions and assuming, which is about all you can do when you don‘t have the actual story in front of you.  From what I wrote under Blithe’s skills section, the only form of ‘weakness’ that is shown is in the last sentence.  That means if someone gets within a closer range of fighting, she might not have control of the situation.  While it wasn’t in a more direct phrase, stating her exact weakness, the reader can still assume she wouldn’t be alright in hand-to-hand.  I also didn’t put in what kind of magic she is able to use, because I meant it in general.  She has knowledge about all forms of magic, and can use a little of everything, but of course there are weaknesses for all forms of magic—she wouldn’t be able to use talismans or charms if they aren’t within reach, or if her concentration is broken somehow she wouldn’t be able to accurately perform spells and such.  There is another form of weakness, though not in the form of fighting with.  “Obsess over her books and research” can be just that—an obsession that consumes her life so much that she has no sympathy for another being, thus no skill in human interaction.

The vaguer it is, the more for a call of questions and assumptions should be in the critique.

For the history of the character there is just one thing that needs to be looked at, which is length.  If it’s a long history, then there will be a lot of explanation and would be important in explaining all the aspects in the character sheet, thus is very important to note.  It shows only a fraction of the writing style, and it shows the character’s personality.  If the history is short, it generally means that either nothing super important happened, or will be explained more clearly in the actual story-telling and didn‘t want to spoil what happened.

The goals are semi-important, though brief, because it shows two planes of thought, the character him or herself, and the author.  What the author wants may not be what the character wants, and thus shows that the author has plans for the character to change and develop.  It shows that the author has thought or is thinking about development.  No character sheet that I have seen has this, so if the character sheet you’re critiquing doesn’t have this, ask the author what the character wants and what lesson the author wants the character to learn.

The additional note, depending whether it’s filled out or not, can be important.  Whatever it is, it needs to be included in the overall thought of the character.  It could be an addition to any of the above sections.

The last thing you must keep in mind during all of this is that the character isn’t a story.  Even if the character seems Mary-Sueish just by looking at the sheet, the plot and the writing style can change that for the better.  There are just some things that only writing the story can describe.  

The Critiquing

First, read everything before you start your critique.  Writing as you go will probably not work.

Most of the critiquing will be based on asking questions and assuming.  Character sheets don’t mean anything, they are just made for the creator’s fun, and if the viewers want to know more about the character on one page.  The creator is going to assume you’ve been reading, or are going to be reading whatever they create, thus will find out the details and the needed explanation.  

The first assumption is to take everything literally.  “Beating post” can be assumed as someone getting physically beat up every day, which is what you’ll comment on, even if the creator meant more on an emotional or mental kind of abuse in the story.  By commenting on the physical abuse, it shows the creator that they weren‘t clear enough in the character sheet.  

Take note of where there might be flaws and praise it.  Even if the creator didn’t mean it that way, it shows that, as the viewer, you like where it’s going and to keep it up.  If all there is are flaws though, then you have to point out all the strengths and positives in the character.  Explain how a character can’t be all bad and weak just as a character can’t have strengths without weaknesses.

Finally, highlight the conclusion, Is the character headed for Mary-Sueism?  It shouldn’t be a direct yes or no, especially because this isn’t the story where more things are explained and developed.  Point out if the character sheet had vague phrasing, a lack of information, or if there doesn’t seem to be a plan for development.  Then, state what is liked about the character (depth, amusing, fits with the universe, etc.).  Lastly, if the character was written in a story (you make up a random mini-plot) as is from what you’ve interpreted, state if the character would seem like a Mary-Sue, not by name, but through description.  If the person wants to know if the character is a Mary-Sue, you can be blunter about it, but if they don’t want to hear the term “Mary-Sue” then don’t use it, just continue with the phrases “lack/good development”, “good balance between flaws and strengths”, “over exaggerated phrases” and other such tips.

Here are a couple of examples from =chocolateangel97’s “Which is the Sue? Redone” (chocolateangel97.deviantart.co…).  This piece is a parody, and was meant as a test.  She was looking to see if people would think the characters were Sues or not.  It would be best if you read the bios before looking back here, or find my comment.

Yuki Harshi

1.  Yuki: Aside from the family name (which could be just a harmless typo) there are more. There is a lack of proper description with her bloodline technique; does she have to touch them, or just get close enough for her chakra to reach them? And while it's a unique ability to think about, I think it would be better if she had to touch a certain point of a person's body in order for her to gain the knowledge of her opponent's weakness. In addition, even if she knew the weakness, she still would have to read up on the chemicals and train in order to utilize her advantage. I don't think "it came naturally" would be an available option for her; however, considering that most families with a bloodline technique are usually extreme with their private training, that could just be a comparison between her and her family. Like I said, there is a lack of explanation here (which would be best explained within the actual story).</i>


I immediately start off with her skills and how there isn’t enough explanation of how her bloodline works.  Between asking questions about the technique, I inserted some suggestions, but they were just that.  Harmless suggestions based on what limited description she gave.  I pointed out the many options “it came naturally” could have meant, either comparing the character with other students, or the character with her family, and then repeated that there is a lack of explanation, in addition to admit that it would be better explained in the actual story.

People calling her a bully because she states what she 'sees' (mixed up from touching to seeing?) could be a good indicator of a flaw, especially if the technique isn't understood. It also gives it a good start of where she needs to change. Just because a person has a certain chemical, doesn't mean they can't change. Or maybe she had a family or close friend who had certain chemicals and ended up being a crazy serial killer, betraying her trust? And that chemical just so happens to be common in all people, but it depends on how much, so she worries and doesn't want to get close?

The lazy and undedicated part is gold, however the 'No one understands her because she's the best' is over the top. You could have stated that they didn't understand how she could be strong, and yet appear lazy and undedicated. And wanting to show people that she does care is a good indication that she wants to change, and that the writer has plans for character development.


Here, I praised the flaws and the mention of development of the character wanting to change, while I also point out the odd sentence “No one understands her because she’s the best” as over the top.  It was an obvious exaggeration.  If you refer back to my guide “How Not to Write Like One” you’ll see that exaggerations and euphemisms are a bad thing in character sheets, and this is precisely why.    

I think you kept Neji in character even though it was one sentence. Before his epiphany, he would probably let people bully her, and probably bully her himself. After that event, however, I can't really imagine him discouraging every person he sees putting down Yuki, so it's good you kept him in character even though you didn't state whether or not he found out his father wasn't murdered against his will.


If it’s in fan fiction, and there is a mention of a canon character in action, state whether the character was in character or not, along with why.  Here, I also questioned when such and such happened because Neji did change almost drastically when he found out his father wasn’t blatantly betrayed.

I understand killing people in order to keep the family secret, but a baby is an exaggeration, right? The baby wouldn't remember anyway, so there would be no need to kill it.


Here, I called on the exaggeration, and that killing babies really weren’t needed, especially if she’s a native to the peaceful village of Konoha.

Conclusion: Yuki is a Mary-Sue but only due to a minimal lack of explanation in her bloodline technique, and for some over exaggerated phrases; however has good depth and already shows potential for character development if it were written in the story as is.


Finally, as the conclusion, I did state that Yuki is a Mary-Sue, but explained why it wasn’t directly the character itself.  It was the phrases and lack of explanation that did the character in.  I also stated the potential the character has in a story if it was written as is.

For the next example, the character took on another angle of what could be found in a lack of explanation and development.

Kogata Takaminjo

2.  Kogata: Since her gold eye color, purple hair, and dark skin are common in her village, the odd coloring wouldn't count, especially so since the Naruto universe is generally colorful. On the other hand, for being overweight for her short stature and having a "juicy sought after curves that are great for child birth"; however in some cultures, being pudgy is considered healthy, so curves (as in rolls) and great for child birth (as in seemingly healthy) could still apply without Mary-Sueism. The village itself and the cultural standing needs to be described if you want to continue to use that phrase though. I won't even comment on the D breasts since Tsunade has bigger boobs and weighs less.</i>


I commented on the odd coloration and looks because I saw some other comment on them in a slightly more negative way.  For this, you have to keep in mind that this was the Naruto universe, so people could be even slightly fat, and still weigh less than the average normal-weight person.  I also quoted the curves part because sometimes in a culture it is sought after, but I also stated that the culture of the village was never described.

Since character sheets are usually taken literally, "beating post" may indicate physical harm. Some mothers do result to this, and some fathers may let them, but it's always better to indicate it clearly since it can be taken as her just being the "scapegoat" which also happens in families. As a result of this kind of abuse, she may think that she still loves them because she was made to feel that way; "because they are her family she has to love them no matter what" kind of way. Because it's the female doing most of the abusing, despite the "beating post" statement I'm going to assume that most of it is emotional and mental instead of physical, which would reinforce the previous sentence of Kogata being forced to feel love for her abusers.


I already explained about the “beating post” statement earlier in this guide, so I won’t explain again.

Since I don't recognize who The Killer Bee and Omoi are, I can't comment on this; however her fantasizing about being rescued or being the rescuer is common.


I admit when I don’t know about something, and know I can’t go into depth with it.

Conclusion: Kogata remains undetermined until some phrases and the culture of the village are cleared up; however if it were to stay like this, she would be a Mary-sue with no plan for character development. Basically the only goal the character has is to be rescued.


As the conclusion, I rated Kogata as undetermined because it’s good overall; it’s just the problem of lack of information and no indication of her going to develop.  Between Yuki and Kogata, I think a lack of information is better than over exaggerated phrases.

The way these critiques are done, is basically starting up conversations.  By asking questions, you’re compelling the creator to want to answer them, either through directly answering the questioner, or through the story.  

Once the critique is submitted, accept that there is nothing more you can do.  It’s the creator’s choice whether or not to follow your suggestions or critiques, so don‘t take it to heart whether you check up later and see that there are no changes to the character sheet, story, or other forms of art.
Long ago, when I was young,
My family would keep me strong,
And keep me warm, though cold winds stung…
What have I done to make things wrong?

Now I’m all alone,
With no healing hands that could calm the pain within;
Now I’m all alone,
Among strangers that shun these streets and fear my skin…


Mom, you said you’d never leave,
That you just had a common cold,
I was so foolish to believe
All those sweet lies I had been told…

Now I’m all alone,
With no healing hands that could calm the pain within;
Now I’m all alone,
Among strangers that shun these streets and fear my skin…


Ryn, so father threw you out –
You could’ve tried to make your peace,
You could’ve stopped and thought about
Your bestest friend, your baby niece…

Now I’m all alone,
With no healing hands that could calm the pain within;
Now I’m all alone,
Among strangers that shun these streets and fear my skin…


Dad, it hurt so much to watch you fall,
I love you so, despite your sins,
When I lost you, I lost it all;
Now I am open to all winds!

Now I’m all alone,
With no healing hands that could calm the pain within;
Now I’m all alone,
Among strangers that shun these streets and fear my skin…
If my Skyrim fan fic was a Disney movie…

So I am revising the paragraph on English adjectives when – boom! – I come up with something that rhymes. For the first time in, like forever. Sheesh.  Reading 

This is supposed to be sung by Illa, my Dunmer gal, as she runs about Windhelm and throws stones in the windows of Nords’ houses. She has her reasons – the kid has just lost the last member of her family: her mother died of some pesky sickness, her uncle Teldryn left home after a disagreement with her father, who did not approve of him working as a sellsword for humans, and finally, the dad himself, worn out by years of drowning his sorrows, died of a heart attack in the middle of a confrontation with Rolff and buddies.

By the end of the last chorus, Illa is supposed to bump into her Ancestor Guardian for the first time and realize that she is not alone, after all. I need to make this into a comic. Golden Bucktooth 
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