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Similar Deviations
Chapter 4: A Kiss, Sweet Mother




I spent two terrible days on the streets of Windhelm before I managed to get into my own house. It rained and sleeted for almost every hour of those two days, which I mostly spent sitting on top of a pair of barrels under an arch in an alleyway, trying desperately to stay dry and warm. When it let up a little, I would wander down to the docks with my line and hooks to catch fish, cooking them with bits of broken wood and rags that I fished out of trash bins. Those bins also provided me with a few bits of thin wire and pins that I could bend into makeshift lockpicks.

At night, I would crouch in front of my front door, working with the shabby picks in a vain effort to get the lock open. Every time I saw an approaching lantern, I would drop everything and scurry into a nearby alley to wait for it to pass. I must have broken nearly a dozen pieces of rusty metal trying to pick the lock before finally getting it to catch and turn on the second night. It was with exhausted elation that I finally walked back inside my house.

Everything was as I had left it, if dustier. My mother's bed had been stripped of its mattress and bedclothes, which I imagine they had done to avoid any possibility of her sickness spreading. Seeing the empty frame struck me with a sudden sense of melancholy, and I found myself kneeling by the bed as I had done so often while my mother had been in her last days. Tears welled up in my eyes but I refused to let them fall. I choked back the bitterness and anger, feeling them burning in my stomach and flushing my face. Without thinking about it, my lips started moving.

"Sweet mother, sweet mother," I whispered softly. As I knelt next to my mother's deathbed I wondered if I could go through with it. Could I really… do what needed to be done? Even then, I didn't want to think of it directly. It was a sacrilege… Or was it sacred? The thoughts raced around in my head as the words spilled off my lips, those same two words over and over again until they became meaningless. I became dimly aware that the room was spinning around me—and then I collapsed.

I vaguely recalled dreams of falling through an endless void, falling and falling forever. Faces sometimes loomed up out of the darkness, and voices called my name or taunted me. I remember dreaming of my hands around Grelod's neck while she laughed at me. I dreamed of my mother laying in her bed and cradling me gently—but she was a withered corpse instead of a living woman.

When I awakened I was stiff and sore and too hot. I had slept through the night and much of the next day, and I recognized that I was very sick. Months on the road had worn down my body and mind, and spending two solid days in the rain and cold had finally pushed me over the edge from simple exhaustion to actual illness. I dragged wood from the bin to the fireplace and got a fire going to warm up the frigid chambers, then pulled every blanket I could find out of the cabinets. I dragged the mattress from my bed's frame to the floor in front of the fireplace and threw the blankets over it. By the time I finished, I was shaking and weak.

Even though I felt like I was on fire already, I knew that I would soon be freezing when the fever ran its course. I ate the last of the dried food from my backpack and curled up on top of the blankets to rest. When the shivers woke me, I crawled under the blankets; when the fever came back, I crawled out from under them to let the waning fire dry the sweat from my skin. That night, I crept out long enough to bring in water from a nearby rain barrel and slaked my thirst. Then I slept through another day.

When the fever finally broke for real, I crawled out of bed and made my way to my mother's mirror, her most prized possession, and looked at myself. I barely recognized myself in it. With my shirt off, I almost looked like a corpse myself; I had no fat left on my body, and I could see my ribs through the skin. My hair was too long, but lank and limp. I was going to have to cut it if I was going to be able to go out in public during the day; adults could wear their hair as long as they wanted but young boys with long hair were rare enough to be memorable.

I didn't want to be memorable. I wanted to blend in, to be forgotten. It was the only way I would avoid getting sent back to Honorhall, the only way I could accomplish what I had set out to do.

The next day, I started the journey from sick orphan back to respectable city kid. I found my mother's shears and chopped off as much of my hair as I could; it would draw less attention to have a short, bad haircut than long, uncut hair. I changed from my orphanage rags—which were pretty well beyond salvation at that point—into my own clothes from the closet. I couldn't help but notice how tight they were getting and made a mental note to spend some of my dwindling septims on new clothes. If I bought clothes that were a couple of sizes too big, it would be a long time before I outgrew them and I could tuck in a shirt or roll up the pants to make them seem the right size. After how many times I had been surprised on my journey, I promised myself that I would be better about thinking ahead.

It was a good promise, albeit one quickly broken.

Once I was cleaned and trimmed, I left the house—during the day for the first time since I got back. I was prepared to bolt and run if anyone seemed surprised or even looked at me too long, but Windhelm was a busy city and no one even glanced my way. My only goal that first day was to make my way to the market and pick up food. I would have preferred to go fishing and conserve my funds, but I was still too weak to hold a line. I bought fresh vegetables and a few cuts of meat. None of the vendors recognized me, and one even commented on what a sweet boy I was to run errands on a gloomy day.

After my success at the market I finally started to relax. I spent a week just resting and recovering from my ordeal. When I felt up to it, I went fishing. When I didn't, I bought food—with a careful eye to how few coins were left in my emergency funds. I sometimes played with the neighborhood children, boys and girls who were younger than I had known before I left and who didn't know me. And I read the book.

The pages had become puffy with moisture and the cover was soft in places, but the book had survived the trip. I went over the ritual over and over again. It was clear what was required, and what I had to do. The end of the book, parts I hadn't really been able to read before, were becoming clearer to me now as well. The ritual would call an assassin, but I would still have to make a payment of some kind to them. That was worrisome.

Except for a few scant septims, I was broke. The only things in the house that were worth anything were my mother's mirror and an old silver dinner plate that my mother had once told me was a family heirloom. I remembered that she had fretted about selling it when things were so desperate that last winter, but since it was still in its hiding place in the bottom of the kitchen cabinet, I could only guess that she had finally decided to keep it. As I fished it out and unwrapped it, my eyes blurred with angry tears. If she had sold the stupid thing, she might not have had to work in the winter—she might still be alive. Was a plate worth my mother's life?

If not my mother's life, was it worth Grelod's?

I rewrapped the plate and put it back in its hiding place. The time had come at last to make my decision. I could hide out in my house for the next five years, fishing and scrounging to stay alive until I was legally old enough to own my home and take a real job. I could learn a trade or join the army after that, if the Stormcloak Rebellion was finally put down. Or I could carry through with my promise to Runa and the others—taint my soul, like the priests of the Divines talked about when they preached in the streets.

As I gathered my clothes and dressed for the day, I realized that I had already made my decision long ago. The moment that I found the book and kept it for myself instead of returning it, I had already decided what I was going to do. Now it was just a matter of living up to my decision.

It was time.



***



The rain and drizzle of my first days back in Windhelm had finally settled into the late autumn flurries and snowstorms common to the city. I made a mental note to start scavenging firewood at night once I was done with my tasks. For now, though, I had to count on one random factor to make my plan work—that the priestess of Arkay from the Hall of the Dead wouldn't remember a single little boy after almost a year.

I wandered through the streets, which were still bustling even in the cold and snow, until I came to the sunken stairs that led into the Hall of the Dead. For some reason, it was Nord tradition to keep people buried in tombs, rather than burning them or burying them in the ground as my mother said Imperials preferred. Honestly, I didn't see the point of either way—dead was dead, and rituals for the body were just ways of appeasing the survivors. Still… the dead bothered me. They were a reminder of my mother, a reminder of the unfairness of life.

Putting all that aside, I pushed my way through the heavy doors into the Hall of the Dead. The priestess was in the entry chamber, speaking to a bereaved-looking older couple. The man was stern and grim-faced, while his wife was trembling and holding on to her husband's arm like she could collapse at any moment. From where I had come in, I could only hear bits and pieces of their conversation.

"…a terrible thing…" the priestess murmured, glancing over as I closed the door behind me. "…so young… all the arrangements…" She waved at me to go on in to the crypts without giving me another look. I was so surprised that I nearly froze in place before recovering and walking on. As I moved past them, I wondered what tragedy might have brought the couple here today and if anyone could ever make it right.

More than that, though, I started to think that all of my worry and fear about getting caught had been for nothing. Ever since I had been back in Windhelm, not a single adult had looked at me twice. I kept my head down and went about my business quietly—and that's what adults wanted from children. As I descended into the chilly depths beneath the city, my way lit by guttering torches, I began to realize the potential in being beneath the notice of other people. It wasn't just about staying out of Honorhall anymore; now, I was actually thinking about what could be possible if I kept my wits about me.

I was so deep in my thoughts that I almost missed the turn to go to my mother's resting place. It was a small niche cut into the stone walls of the catacombs, a tomb for a pauper. She was wrapped in a linen shroud that mercifully concealed her desiccated features. Lining the wall of the niche behind her were small jars that I knew would hold her internal organs, which had to be removed before embalming. She would lay here, her flesh turning to dry paper and stretching tight across her bones, until the niche was needed for some other penniless soul. Then the priests would remove the body, place her skeleton into a sealed urn, and move it to some forgotten corner of the Hall of the Dead.

Of course, that would never happen now. Not if I succeeded at my goal.

I hadn't expected to see any offerings—I hadn't been able to make one on my short visit the year before, and we had no other family—but I was shocked to see dried flowers laid across her breast. They were far from fresh, but the fact that someone had cared enough to leave them touched me. I wondered briefly if it might have been Angrenor, but I decided it didn't matter.

I quickly pulled my backpack from under my coat and pulled out the knife concealed in the bottom of it. I had to work quickly. The priestess being distracted by more bereaved petitioners was a useful coincidence, but the odds of anyone coming to this part of the catacombs were low at the best of times. Few people enjoyed being among the dead, and even Nords who honored their ancestors did so only occasionally.

Moving with precision, I cut away the linen covering my mother's corpse. I expected to feel something when the cloth fell away to reveal the brown, dried flesh, but the truth is that I could not make any sort of mental connection between this leathery object and my vital, beautiful mother. No, my mother was gone—what lay before me was only a husk, empty of anything that might make it real to me. That feeling of disconnection was aided by how thoroughly the last year had stripped her of flesh. Only a few scraps still clung to her skull, along with some brittle strands of hair. Most of the body was just a skeleton. Which was precisely what I needed.

Once the linens had been cut free I folded them up into a wad and stuffed them into another niche, hiding them behind another corpse's burial urns. Then I pulled the skeleton apart, folding it where I could to make it fit neatly into my backpack. Finally, I moved all of the urns from my mother's niche to other niches, not adding more than one to any given set. When I got to the last urn, the one I needed, I carefully settled it into the backpack and sealed the top down with twine. Then I closed the whole thing up and tested its weight. The urn was the heaviest thing; my mother had never been a large woman, and her skeleton weighed next to nothing.

With my new burden on my back, I retraced my steps up through the tombs and to the temple above. The priestess was still speaking with the couple, though now they were all sitting down at benches on the far side of the chamber and the woman was weeping openly. Her husband was shaking now, tears silently rolling down his cheeks. The priestess was holding the woman's hands clasped between her own and had her head down in prayer. Making a run across the chamber was briefly tempting, but I put the idea out of my head and forced myself to walk across slowly; only criminals ran.

My slow but confident stride cleared the room in only seconds, but it felt like forever. At any point, any of the three adults could have looked up and asked where I was going with a backpack full to bursting. They might think I was a thief, come to rob the tombs of their offerings, but if they pulled the backpack open what they found would be much worse. Fortunately, all of them were too engrossed with whatever sorrow was playing out to notice me.

As I emerged into the streets and breathed a sigh of relief, I couldn't help but wonder about the people I had seen. They were much older than me, but they seemed just as broken up by whatever had brought them to the Hall of the Dead. Did losing someone ever get any easier, or was every loss just as painful as mine? The thought that chilled me to the bone was wondering if everyone who died had someone mourn for them like that. Would someone weep for Grelod when her heart stopped? Was it right to inflict my pain on another?

In my heart of hearts, I already knew the answer. No one would mourn for Grelod, like no one would mourn for a rabid wolf that had to be put down to protect a shepherd's flock. Killing her would save other lives, and would redeem the suffering felt by others. I felt in my bones a basic truth—that killing one person could solve so many problems. I wondered at the possibilities.

When I got back to the house, I immediately went to the room where my mother's bed had been. Once I had been strong enough to move the frame, I had dragged it into the main room and broken it apart for firewood. That left a large open area for me to do my work in. Bit by bit, I pulled the skeleton out of my backpack, laying it down in an approximation of the original shape. I used my knife to scrape off as much of the remaining flesh as I could and put it next to the dry ribs. I laid out the flowers and arranged the candles in a circle around the effigy.

Lastly, I pulled out the burial urn and steeled my nerve; this would be the hardest part. I untied the twine holding the lid down and tried to pull off the top to no avail. It turned out that it had been sealed in wax, which I had to chisel away with my knife. Once it was open, a foul smell wafted out. I could only guess that it was the smell of the embalming fluid that they had steeped my mother's heart in after they had cut it out of her chest. I felt bile surge up into my throat as I dipped my hands into the murky fluid, and I fought to keep myself from vomiting. My hands finally clasped around what they sought.

Without looking too closely at the grisly organ, I placed it carefully inside the rib cage of the effigy. Then I lit the candles one by one. In their flickering ghost-light I said the words.



"Sweet mother, sweet mother,
Send your child unto me,
For the sins of the unworthy
Must be baptized in blood and fear."




And I waited.



***



And I waited.



***



And still I waited.

When no assassin came after the first day, I was slightly disappointed. Still, I told myself that it would take them some time to send someone to me. The book hadn't said how long it would take, and I supposed that they must be pretty busy. I contented myself with the idea that the assassin would come within the week. At most.

After a week had passed with no sign of the assassin, I told myself that it would be no more than a month. Moreover, since the Black Sacrament was crucial to the whole thing, I had to keep saying it as often as possible. That way, the Dark Brotherhood would know that I was serious—that my prayer was heartfelt and real. I left the effigy where it lay and ignored the smell. I procured more candles and made sure that the area was lit day and night. When the Dark Brotherhood finally came, I wanted them to see how serious I was about my petition.

The fact that no assassin had come didn't make me any less sure that it would happen. Indeed, the lack of physical proof only made my faith grow even stronger. An organization as powerful as the Dark Brotherhood must have dozens of contracts to fulfill at any one time. They would get to me in due course. Grelod would die. The other children would be free. I just had to keep the faith.

The Black Sacrament began to fill my every waking thought. I would whisper it to myself out loud even when I was doing other things. I would say it over my meal like a blessing-prayer. I would say it out loud before I left the house, and right after I came home. Eventually, I came to resent the time I spent away from the house catching fish or otherwise finding food. Every minute I was out of the house was a minute that the Brotherhood could have arrived. Would the assassin wait for me if I wasn't there? Could he even find me if I stopped saying the prayer? Such questions haunted me.

The Black Sacrament consumed my thoughts, but most of my days were empty of anything to do. As I had settled into life in Windhelm and relaxed my guard, I found that I could interact with other children without drawing too much attention from their guardians. I had even played with the local kids a couple of times while I was recovering from my trip. The loneliness of the road had changed me in some basic way, something fundamental in the way I looked at other people. While I wanted to be around people from time to time, I functioned fine on my own for the most part.

Now, even as I was afraid to go out of sight of my house, I found myself strangely hungry for company. Most of them were younger than me; the older kids knew me, and I hadn't had any real friends among them, so I thought it was safer to spend my time with the younger ones. We played tag and hide-and-seek and hoops, all games I could play in the streets without leaving sight of my house.

One clear winter day, only Grimvar Cruel-Sea had come out to play because of the cold. I liked Grimvar well enough, and he always had marbles to play with, lovely round glass spheres that caught the light. More than that, he was always outdoors, rain or shine, so whenever I needed to be around someone, he was there. We were in the courtyard near my house that day, shooting marbles on a patch of ice, when a shadow fell across us.

"What's that you were saying, boy?" came the gravelly voice of a Dunmer woman. I looked up into her red eyes and realized that I must have been muttering the prayer to myself as I lined up a shot. I tried to shake my head and murmured that I hadn't said anything when Grimvar piped up.

"He says that a lot, Idesa," Grimvar said, trying to be helpful. "Aventus lost his mom last year, and he prays for her a lot. 'Sweet mother, sweet mother,' all the time." Idesa's face hardened the slightest degree, but it was enough for Grimvar to realize that something was wrong. Idesa stiffly held out her hand to him and he took it, quickly scooping up his marbles as he stood up.

"Sorry, Aventus," he said around a sheepish smile as the woman pulled him up. "I'll see you later."

"You'll do no such thing!" the Dunmer hissed, shooting me a nasty look over her shoulder as she dragged Grimvar away. "I want you to stay away from that boy from now on!"

"Awww, Idesa…" Grimvar whined. The sound trailed off as the two of them walked away, leaving me sitting alone on the cold ground. It was the last time I played with him. From then on, whenever I ventured outside to see if other kids were around, Idesa was always near Grimvar's side—and that put her near the other kids. It was a rare day after that I could even go outside without happening to run into her and her baleful red glare.

Honestly, I didn't blame her. I knew that some Nords hated the Dunmer, and had even pushed them into the worst part of the city to live away from "decent" folk. As an Imperial, I had felt the same sting from hard words and slurs, so I knew what it was like to be despised just because of your race. More than that, I couldn't be angry at Idesa for having seen me for what I really was. I played with the other children out of occasional loneliness, but I wasn't really one of them. Even then I could feel my difference. She saw under the mask and responded to what she had seen there. I was curious how she knew about the Black Sacrament more than mad about losing access to my playmates.

And still I waited.



***



By midwinter, I was becoming desperate in more ways than one. My throat was raw from saying the Black Sacrament over and over. When the snow was at its worst, I had trouble getting out of the house; some days, the ice was too thick at the docks to even go fishing. I was out of septims and out of options. I was surviving on food scavenged from trash bin at night and my fire was stoked from furniture I had been breaking up piece by piece.

"Sweet mother, sweet mother," I sobbed on a cold winter's night like many that had come before. "Why isn't it working?" I finally cried in frustration. I stared at my mother's skeleton, her bare jawbone seeming to laugh at me and her withered heart staining the wood under it. As the tears built and my own heart came close to bursting, that's when I heard my savior speak for the first time.

"What's going on here?" she asked from behind me.

I spun around and stared up into her face. She was dark-haired and beautiful, not what I had expected from an assassin at all. When I thought about the Dark Brotherhood as people, I thought they would be hard-looking, dangerous men festooned with knives and scars. This woman was… delicate, almost. Her eyes were piercing and blue, and she was wearing a brown dress with fancy embroidery on the hem. If I hadn't known why she had come, I would have mistaken her for just another high-society lady out for a night on the town. Clearly, the Brotherhood knew how to conceal themselves well. I could feel the tears of relief streaming hot down my dirty cheeks.

"Oh, you came!" I exclaimed, my voice quavering. Was it just relief I felt? Or was it the hunger and exhaustion catching up with me. "I knew if I did it enough that you would come." I tried to stand up to go to her, but stumbled and found her suddenly next to me, holding me up in arms that were surprisingly strong. The knife dropped out of my hand and narrowly missed impaling my foot. She guided me to the kitchen table and pulled a wrapped half-loaf out of her large satchel. I found myself tearing into it almost immediately when she pressed it into my hands.

"Why don't you tell me what's going on?" she asked kindly.

"My mother died," I blurted out. The tears were drying up now, but another one leaked out against my will as I said the words I had waited so long to say. "I don't know what happened to my pa. He went to the war and didn't come back. They sent me to the orphanage in Riften. The other kids were nice, but Grelod the Kind…" I shuddered at the memory of that old hag. She passed me a wedge of cheese that I tore into as well before continuing around a mouthful of food.

"Grelod isn't kind. Not at all. She beat us and told us no one loves us and how we'll always be alone. So I ran away and came home. I found a book that told how to do the Black Sacrament, how to call the Dark Brotherhood." The words were just tumbling out of me; I had wanted to be calm and adult in front of the assassin, but I couldn't seem to find my balance. "Please," I begged, "you have to kill Grelod the Kind."

"Sweety," she said with a narrow smile, "I'm not an assassin." Was this part of the process? Did she have to deny who she really was to test me?

"But you came! I did the sacrament and you came!" I insisted. "Please, Grelod is a terrible person. She's a monster!" The woman was just shaking her head slowly. What was I doing wrong? I couldn't lose this chance, not after I had given up so much… I finally realized what I had missed and continued, "I can pay you. I have a reward. I wouldn't expect you to do it for free." At that, she finally agreed. I knew that payment would be crucial!

"I'll see what I can do," she said humbly. "But in return I want you to take better care of yourself. Get more to eat." She wasn't just a magical assassin from the Dark Brotherhood—she was kind too! I blinked and looked away from her.

"I don't have much coin," I lied. In truth, I didn't have any.

"Why don't we look around the house and see what we can find?" she suggested. I didn't know what good it would do; I had ransacked the entire house looking for something to pay her with months ago. Still, it would be good form to go along with her. Anything she found she would probably keep, but for Grelod's death anything was a small price. She looked through the kitchen cabinets and asked me to check the front room.

As I listlessly rifled through the cabinets and drawers, one of them got stuck and wouldn't move. I was sure that I had checked all of these before… hadn't I? After a few moments of pushing and pulling, I finally got the drawer to pull the rest of the way out, revealing a fat leather pouch that clinked when it came free. I stared at it for a minute in shock, unable to believe what I was seeing. Finally, I pulled it open—and a shocked cry escaped my lips. There had to be a hundred septims in it! Where had this much money come from? How had I missed it?

In the end, I could only come to one conclusion: my mother had managed to save up some money that she had never told me about, money that she wouldn't touch to save her own life. Even at the end, she must not have believed that her sickness was that bad. She believed that she was going to get better. She hadn't abandoned me at all. This money was proof of that. No one saved this kind of money if it could be used to save their lives instead. She meant what she had said about getting better and making our lives better. She had just died before she could do those things…

It took me a long time to compose myself enough to tuck the pouch into my pocket and go back to face the assassin again. All of the bitterness and pain I felt was gone at last. Things were going to be okay again, I could feel it. The woman stayed a little while longer before promising that she would come back to check on me soon. My heart surged with joy at the idea that it wouldn't take long before Grelod met her just end.

As she stepped out into the cold winter night, I waved goodbye to my savior. She had never told me her name, and I hadn't asked. As an assassin, I assumed she would have given me a false name anyway. Even if I only ever saw her once more I would be grateful. The knowledge that my mother truly loved me had given me comfort, and the certainty that Grelod's fate was near at hand filled me with new hope. For the first time in over a year, I slept a truly peaceful sleep.

An assassin saved my soul when I was a child. If that had been the end of it, I still would have counted it as the most important moment of my life. Little did I know at the time that it was only the beginning.



…to be continued…
Aventus has returned home, but all is far from well in his life. Now is the winter of his discontent.

Set in the same continuity as heiwako's "Darkness Rises When Silence Dies" and "For the Future of Skyrim" and used with permission.


Skyrim and all its characters are copyright Bethesda.
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Nightmare

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Moveset:

Gender: Male

Species: Evil Spirit/Sword

Game Series: Soul Series

First Appearance: Soul Edge (1995)

Health: 1,050,000 HP Points

Voice Actor: Patrick Ryan

Power Ranking (Out of 7)

Intelligence: 3
Strength: 7
Speed: 5
Stamina: 5
Energy Projection: 5
Fighting Ability: 7

Assist Alpha: Soul Edge Guillotine (Direct, Tilt Down)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion
Assist Beta: Soul Edge Spear (Direct, Front)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion
Assist Gamma: Soul Wave (Direct, Instant)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion

Description:

There was a time when a man named Siegfried Schtauffen took control of the Soul Edge, becoming powerless under the power of the blade. He eventually was able to retrieve his mentality and used the power of the holy blade Soul Calibur in order to save his body. He was separated from his Nightmare form and became the new wielder of Soul Calibur, while Inferno made a pact with Zasalmel, who made him a new body of his own. Thus…Nightmare was born.

Entrance: Nightmare will have his back turned to his opponent. Then, swinging Soul Edge over his head, he'll turn around and get into his fighting stance.

Entrance Quotes:

#1: Give in to the Dark Abyss of Despair!

#2: Taste Fear!!~

#3: Tremble within my Darkness!!

#4: Your soul will soon become mine!

#5: My Power is absolute!

Against Ryu: Warrior of Legend…your soul shall be mine!

Against Akuma: Your soul is like that of my own…

Against Sentinel/Zero: Soulless being, be gone from my Sight!

Moves:

Attack Layout:

Ground Level

Standing Light: Sword Handle (51,000)

Standing Medium: High Kick (64,000)

Standing Light: Nightmare Gauntlet (80,000)

Standing Special: Soul Edge Upper Swing (90,000)

Crouched

Crouching Light: Low Kick (49,000)

Crouching Medium: Low Gauntlet (65,000)

Crouching Hard: Low Soul Edge Sweep (78,000)

Air Attacks

Air Light: Straight Kick (57,000)

Air Medium: Soul Edge Slash (70,000)

Air Hard: Soul Edge Slash #2 (80,000)

Air Special: Soul Edge Axe (90,000)

Unique Moves

Straight Stab (F + H) (85,000)

Nightmare Smash (F + M) (70,000)

Special Moves

NightMare Punch (Qcf + L) (90,000)

Charged with the powers of Soul Edge, Nightmare will do a straight punch charged with dark energy. The attack can stop fireballs if timed properly.

Soul Edge Guillotine (Qcf + M) (100,000)

Nightmare will bring down his Soul Edge on the opponent, the attack causing an OTG bounce and can stop projectiles.

Soul Edge Spear (Qcf + H) (110,000)

Nightmare's reach at its best. Nightmare will stick out his sword straight at the opponent. This attack can smash through any projectile in the game and takes up 2/3 of the screen in distance.

Knight Crusher (Dp + A) (140,000)

His standing Mashing Y/Triangle combo from SC4, Nightmare will smash down his sword a total of three times, the first two times causing a possible hit decay while the third strike causes a ground bounce.

Soul Crusher Side Slash (Qcb + L) (95,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will swing his sword sideways, sending the opponent flying back. The attack can cancel out fireballs.

Soul Crusher Uppercut Slash (Qcb + M) (115,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will uppercut his sword and the opponent with it. This attack can be air comboed into if the attack is timed right.

Soul Crusher Drop Kick (Qcb + H) (120,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will do a double leg drop kick at the opponent, causing a wall bounce upon connecting with them.

Soul Wave (Down + Down + A) (100,000)

Nightmare will build up a large amount of energy within his body, then expelling it outward in a barrier-like burst. This attack causes an instant Wall bounce upon contact, even from the other side of the screen.

Hyper Combos

Flaming Souls (Qcf + AA) (300,000)

A quick one-hit armored Hyper combo, Nightmare will take Soul Edge in both hands and the blade will alight on fire. Nightmare will then lunge forward and uppercut it into the air, This attack has 2 hits of hyper armor and the flame lengthens the amount of distance on the hyper combo. This attack cancels out all projectile attacks and can even cancel out high priority hyper combos like C.Viper's Emergency Combination.

Soul Explosion (Dp + AA) (285,000)

Nightmare will charge Soul Edge with negative energy and do a lance stab with the sword, large amounts of dark energy flying around the sword as he does so, causing a large amount of combo damage.

Soul Destroyer (Down + Down + AA) (280,000)

A counter hyper combo, Nightmare will charge up a very large amount of energy within his body. If the opponent attacks him as he does so, he'll expel the energy outward in a shockwave, sending the opponent flying and causing a wall bounce.

Level 3: Critical Finish (Qcb + AA) (450,000)

Nightmare's Critical Finish from  is now his level 3 Hyper combo. The attack begins with an uppercut sword slash. If the attack connects with the opponent, Nightmare will throw his sword up into the air, which will air combo the opponent before bringing them back down into the ground. Soul Edge will then cause a giant area of dark energy to appear around the opponent as it combos them and explodes, ending the hyper combo.

Victory Pose:

Nightmare will take the Soul Edge in both hands, then raising it above his head, the sword shooting off Red Lightning from its tip into the air.

Victory Quotes:

#1: The Nightmare…will NEVER END!!

#2: Blood…Darkness…Come Unto Me!!

#3: Your souls…were rather good!

#4: Your Meager Souls are WORTHLESS!!!

#5: The Darkness is everlasting!!

#6: The End...is near!

Against Ryu/Akuma/Wolverine: Warrior…your soul shall surely satisfy me!

Assist Quotes:

Call Partner:

"Destroy!"

Switch-Out:

"Tremble in Fear!"

Last Person Switch Out:

"The Darkness is coming for you!!"

Color Scheme:

#1: Dark Blue

#2: Black

#3: Dark Red

#4: Dark Green

#5: Dark Brown

#6: Dark Purple

I hereby give Capcom full rights over this moveset and are welcome to use this in any way/shape/form that they desire.
"TREMBLE IN MY DARKNESS!!"

*Ahem* Well...I've been playing alot of Soul Calibur 4 lately and...well...I was tempted to make a moveset for possibly one of the best and coolest game villains ever, Nightmare from the Soul Calibur . This guy is one of the reasons I hope they expand to Namco vs. Capcom after Street Fighter X Tekken is done, for I'd use a team of Felicia and Nightmare (And Wesker if it's 3 vs 3) and be completely unstoppable! >8D

Anyways...enjoy everyone. :3
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Gadeneri Ralvel

You are uncorrupted, wanderer.

Your shine is in contrast with this saddened ground; you are fresh and feeble like morning dew, that in the gardens I used to love so well. It takes guts, my friend, to roam these lands with a mind still clear like yours.

I wonder what brought you here. To me, it was the colours of this place. The twisted soul that lay beneath them, and was so like my own, meant nothing — I yearned for this sky, wanted to feel each petal between my fingers.

I wasn’t ready yet. I got lost, long before I knew.

Once you cross the doors of folly, there is no turning back. If it was a mistake, you will know no mercy — your heart will eventually rise over the sun, tinging your deepest wishes in blood.

I spied on the Red Mountain from the windows of my room. It showed among smoke and mist, just beyond the veil of this world — nothing, ever, I had wanted more than belonging there again.

I could almost touch that image. The flow of my thoughts felt seamless — in that moment I believed, I knew, my dagger would the one way to lead me back home. There was light in my eyes when my heart stopped.

The faded illusion made mine the bitterest awakening. I am still here. I left my brother behind.

Help me, good friend. Draw a different path.


Lorenz Bog-Trotter

My mind may be healed, but my robes did not leave me. He wants me imprisoned, chained to my mistakes, till the ages themselves lose their meaning.

He is not His aspect, nor His voice; His fury has the terrible might of father Akatosh. Nobody can see it better than us — the servants of a lord equally divine and merciless, trying to warn the others of what was and will be.

Those who don’t listen, we slay. Their entrails will make up for their wrong doings  — so we used to say. Then again, the first time I had to watch a sacrifice, doubt was born inside me.

Doubt is crimson. It drips from invisible wounds, leaving no room for a blind creed like mine. I started to doubt all of Him — His motives, His lack of any, with the smell of dead things ever flashing in my nostrils.

I took care of the sanctuary that still holds my remains. The choice was mine — I got closer to the most horrible beasts, so I could find the courage to become one of them.

All I had to do was pretend to be devoured, while my sword, hidden, sank in the mud. By my wretched brothers, I was buried with the utmost honour.

He still knows. He still holds me prisoner. As my cursed spirit proves, He is not the god of laughter.


M’desi

I gave in to the stench.

I was naïve, you see. Simple flesh like mine never gets saved. I am the soul that flees within the walls, with the fire of anguish in its eyes, while people like you fight the monsters in the bleeze. But you, yes, you have the eyes of one who knows. The signs never fade — you have been there and returned. It takes no less than you to walk the planes of Oblivion.

But maybe, the horrors of the Isles — maybe you don’t know those yet. I was naïve. I followed their call. Their curse can so much more than their hunger. I was inside their den before I could tell. But then, then I knew it would be forever dark.

The lights tricked me, led me deeper in the mud. I only felt their horrid smell, and their steps coming for me — I imagined their fangs as they sank in my limbs, my fur being torn by their claws, the noise echoed and multiplied by fear.

They were coming for me, coming, louder and closer yet. I couldn’t let them eat me alive.

I drank poison, bitter gift from the flowers of the Isles. My dead flesh killed all of them, in a slow agony, later. And I was lucky — by the time they were crushed by their teeth, my bones could no longer feel. But I beg you, friend, even from here; tell my Lord what he doesn’t know.

I did not take my life. It was terror. Terror, deceit — and the horrid stench.


Limark

I went to die among the walls.

You would do it too — maybe you will, someday, charmed by the glistening lights. Maybe. The feet which led me in there walked differently than yours; knowledge was my treasure, curiosity my fever.

You might tread my path someday, but not like me; I already know what you will not look for. Only those who do not come for treasure, nor for fights, will hear the voice running in the stone — it speaks to all ears open on the past, with patterns left thousands of years ago.

I followed them with my fingers, invisible, terrified. They talked to me like no other had ever heard. They told me of all that was before us; they unveiled the secrets of my Lord, and of his merciless rebirth.

I was in Milchar when I knew for sure. There was no staircase when I looked down to my future — I found a terrible vision instead, an ocean of blood, with the ghosts of the past cycles prowling in its waves.

I could not bear so much horror, wanderer. I dived in it, just to have my skull crushed. But you, believe me, you still have the chance — raise your eyes from the treasures, from the lies, and run away.

You can avoid the coming storm yet.


Salonia Viria

I never lied to anyone, pilgrim of Sheogorath. Not once I lied to myself. It was my fear of slander, in fact, to lead me here.

There is a silent agreement in the world we both came from; the whispers from the future, the ones that never ceased in my miserable soul, are forbidden like no other sin. My walk on Mundus was a long exile, a journey which, finally, ended in madness as my resting place.

You certainly know what it means. I was a true prophet, hated and feared as such.

But what you may not know, cursed mortal warrior, is how the flow on time warps and loses itself in the Isles. The signs assaulted me, broke my quiet life in New Sheoth, as those higher truths couldn’t leave me alone.

Even where I was well-loved and trusted, very few believed me. But you will learn, miserable brother, the curse of this realm — the future happened too many times, and the present chases itself endlessly.

My Lord curses me for no reason, as he knows better than me. I took my life as soon as I knew; I wanted to avoid that end, the very end he is bound to submit to. You, though — you shine in other colours than him. You are not as blind as our God.

If you come back to the Hill, wanderer, we will bestow a gift upon you. More than any other aid, you need ours here and now. For I see, in you, the possibility of making the change — if only you could read it across me, beyond my sealed lips.

Maybe, unlike us, you will find the way. We ask you to try — do search for your potential.

Because, truly, you would never guess what you have the power to become.
Nothing more than backstory for the souls on the Hill of Suicides. Here is the link to the quest page.
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As the young blond traced small details onto her map, she wiped a bit of sweat from her brow. For early fall, it sure was hot... Or perhaps that was just the heat of the furnace getting to her? Sighing, Fleet dropped her quill and stood up, dragging her hand through her short, fluffy hair. The day had been long, and the evidence of this was all over her body- Dirty clothes, a small smudge of coal dust on her left cheek... Not to mention the fact that her hands were stained with ink. But all the dirt, all of that dust had been worth it. It was always worth it. Sitting back down again, she didn't even notice the sun setting as she her mind floated in the lala land that most refer to as reverie. Nor did she notice the tall shadow striding towards her house, a diamond block in hand.

No, Fleet was far too lost in her thoughts to even realize that she'd left the door open. Too busy thinking about how she dove down into that cave everyday, and always hauled back such a huge load. Today was the day she'd actually done something a little different. Fleet had traveled far in order to find a new cave, and add to her map. The thought of fresh air just seemed great, really. And it was- Until she'd seen that tall ass stilty creature running around with a sand block in it's hand. She didn't even know how lucky she was that it hadn't noticed that she'd seen it... Or so she thought. She'd taken off too soon to even pay attention to what it was, dropping the diamond block she'd just crafted in the process. That had absolutely sucked. There were so many things she could've done with that diamond...

Fleet leaned back in her chair, letting out a yawn that turned into a startled yelp as the door slammed, jumping up a little. The jump caused her chair to scoot back a little and then fall over. Her eyes widened as the shadow creature from before stared down at her, just... Staring back. Both were frozen. The Enderman because it was being stared at, and the human because she was scared as NETHER. This fear spiked as Fleet's eyes drifted to the diamond block it was holding. She recognized that block. Did this thing follow her? She looked back at the Enderman, letting out yet another yelp as it seemed to have gotten closer, leaned in closer. Why in the Nether had it followed her all that way? And more importantly, it seemed hostile. Kinda. So if it was following her that whole way, it would've had a chance to kill her any time it wanted.

So, why didn't it? As she continued staring at the creature, she shuddered. That whispering... It was terrifying. Like listening to a ghost or something. Maybe it was a ghost? Gulping, she struggled not to blink. And failed. The Enderman took this chance to kneel down and lean in closer, it's long, gangly limbs dragging on the floor for quite a length. When Fleet opened her eyes again, she wasn't surprised that it was closer... But she still whimpered anyway. Was she going to die today? So, lying there upside down with her feet in the air, she was going to die. Sitting in a chair upside down. Whatever happened to creepers just exploding and sending your limbs flying? Or being arrowed to death? Since when did monsters act so personal when they killed you? Questions like these flooded the teen's mind as her heart pounded...

It was an interesting thing, being terrified. It was almost like being in love. Your heart felt like it was gonna explode in your chest, your emotions ran rampant, you felt like you were about to cry, and you're afraid to speak. They both sent adrenaline pumping through your veins. Was there really even a difference? The Enderman stared down at her, vaguely wondering when the girl was gonna give him a chance to move again. He didn't have long to wait- She shut her eyes to squeeze the tears away. He moved in closer, closer... Until his face was an inch from hers. Her eyes popped open, and the tears began to flow. Why keep from crying? She was going to die anyway... Maybe it was best to let her tear ducts have their way?

Unable to move, the Enderman merely stared at her with his glowing green eyes. The air felt tight. Fleet knew that if she closed her eyes one more time, she would die immediately. It would eat her, or something. The Enderman, of course, had other plans. Not that Fleet knew anything about them. In her pocket, her clock ticked. Her heart beat erratically when compared to the ticking. Ticking, thumping, inaudible whispers. Each second of it seemed to last an hour. Her eyes began to feel dry, and the tears made her eyelids feel a little crusty.

Just one blink, it would make it better... Wouldn't it? But just one blink... And she'd die, wouldn't she? But it didn't matter. No matter what, she'd die. It wasn't like she could attack... If she moved her gaze from this strange, tall shadow for even a second to pull out her sword, she'd still die. Fleet's eyelids began to droop, and the Enderman's eyes brightened a little. Suddenly, the girl was just... So... Tired. She just wanted to shut her eyes. There was nothing she could do now. No matter what, if she moved her eyes from the gangly beast at all, she'd die. Quietly, one last tear slipped from her left eye as they both closed for what she thought was forever.
Inspired by Minecraft's Enderman, obviously. xD
There will be two alternate endings to this. One is based on how a Herobrine and a creeper are made. :3
However, I'll take requests for endings... So I'll upload all ending requests. :3
God, I'm so uncreative with names. This Fleet is in no way related to my Ribbon Eel Girl Fleet. xD
Ending- Gone Forever [link]
Alternate Ending- Pity the Taken [link]
Romance Ending- Didn't mean to scare you, oops [link]

I love R&R~ It brings improvement, I think. :3
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“What is it lizard?”

Garuss scowled, or at least what was the equivalent of a scowl to his species. He held his tongue, wanting nothing more then to give the Imperial guard a good verbal lashing. This ‘lizard’ was Thane in this hold and all others.

This lizard was the man who slew Ulfric Stormcloak.

This lizard was the dovahkiin!

He was more Nord then any of them.

He quickly stomped his arrogance, not keen on the path his mind was carrying him. He found it better to not be bitter, as it was key to being sane under such a heavy burden.

His battle with the fabled Alduin was so close that he could almost feel the dragon’s words cascade over his scaled flesh, freezing and burning. His confrontation on the throat of the world had left him on his knees, his skin numb from the constant abuse, and his throat hoarse from his thu’um.

He was grateful to Paarthurnax for his help. And so when Delphine and Esbern tasked him to kill the dragon to gain their trust, he refused. This dragon was the key to keeping the peace after Alduin’s defeat. Without a peaceful teacher of the word, the dragons would continue their attacks.

Delphine called him a fool for it.

Was it foolish to have faith in another? Perhaps it was. Skyrim was a harsh land. The people cold and unfriendly to those who were not Nords themselves.

Still, the Argonian managed to make friends. Some of whom were in high places. Jarls, Orc Chieftains, mages from the collage. He managed to carve himself a spot in every hold. He even got on the good side of the Black-Briars, earning a slight amount of trust from Maven when he proved himself in the Thieves Guild.

God damned he hated that woman. Pity she became Jarl after Ulfric was killed. He was sure his friend Mjoll was furious with such an outcome.

He was certainly glad she did not know he was Guild Master now.

Still, being a Thane, the Harbinger of the companions, or even the Dovahkiin wasn’t enough for everyone. After all, he was just a ‘lizard’.

Garuss turned to look at his housecarl, Iona. The proud woman was eyeing a stall in the market place. More importantly, a rather nice looking ebony war ax. His eyes trailed down to her hand, a ring adorning it.

His eyes left her hand to his, a matching band adorning one of his clawed fingers.

Iona his housecarl.

Iona his wife.

“You want it?”

The Nord woman blinked, quickly looking to him. She did not blush, or look even the slightest sheepish. She was no blushing bride, that was for certain. “My current ax suits me, my thane.” she said, her hands sliding over the blade of her steal war ax.

To him, it looked old an dull. He had money to spare.

Garuss went to the stall, grasping the ax and looking it over with a keen eye. Half way into his quest, he had tossed aside one handed weapons in favor of two handed ones. He shrugged his shoulders, Bloodskal clanging against his ebony mail.

“You have to pay for that.” the stall owner said, frowning at him.

He was honestly glad he wasn’t a Khajiit some times. They probably were chased out of shops and market places all the time. Still, Argonians were thieves to most.

Well... Granted he was a thief. He could pick even the hardest locks, never loosing a lockpick in the process. But that was when he was on a job. He was a civilian today, and had every intention to pay.

Now if only he was as good at picking pockets... Or casting spells. Or even smiting. He had all those blasted dragon scales and bones just laying in his cellar.

“Are you listening to me Lizard?” The Nord asked, growing angry at his obvious lack of confirmation on having to pay.

Garuss continued to ignore the man, giving a swing. It was well balanced he had to admit.

“Lizard! I’m warning you!”

One moment, Iona was behind him, the next she was grasping the collar of the Nord’s tunic.

“You do not threaten my husband.” she spat, “And you will not call him lizard! You will give him the respect he deserves.”

The whole market grew quiet, watching the confrontation play out before running to get the guards.

“You’re married to that beast?”

“That beast is Thane of Haafingar.” Iona snarled, “And a better warrior then half the men in Skyrim. He is the one who brought Ulfric to his grave. He is the one who speaks the Thu’um as effortlessly as the dragons themselves.”

Garuss intervened, his hands grasping Iona’s shoulders. “My dearest, it is nothing. Let him live in his ignorance.” Despite his words, he felt pleased at how willing the woman was to say she was his wife. He often wondered if she had flaunted that fact to others when they had still lived in Riften.

Iona let the man go, though she shoved him as she did so, sending him over a few crates. She didn't look flustered, though the anger was obvious. “Lets leave this place, my Thane.”

Garuss nodded, his hands never leaving her shoulders as he led her away and towards Proudspire Manor. They were far from Heljarchen Hall, and so this would have to do. He pushed open the door. “Have a seat, Iona. I’ll make you something to eat.”

Garuss nodded to Jordis who was seated at the kitchen table.

What did he have on him? Some venision... Potatos. He always had potatoes. Salt that he had gotten off a necromancer a few days ago. It was almost looking like venision stew.

“Jordis, do we have leeks?”

“Yes, my Thane. Down stairs in the alchemy lab.” Jordis said, sipping from her tankard.

“Of course it is.” Garuss said, taking the winding stairs down to the cellar. Why were they in the alchemy lab? As far as he knew leeks were not used for potions. That was another thing he needed to practice. Potions. He was running low on them, as he was using them with reckless abandon to heal himself.

The dragons were just getting more and more powerful.

He shifted through some mushrooms and gourds, making a pleased hum as he found some leeks. They looked fresh enough. He returned to the kitchen, using his dagger to cut everything up. He took a boiled creme treat, popping it into his mouth.

They were favorite. All his homes were full of them, ready for him to eat.

If only he knew how to make them.

Iona had not moved from her seat, a scowl still plaster on her face. A bit of bread was clutched in her hand. “Does everyone treat you that way, my Thane?”

Garuss tail wagged slightly as he looked over his shoulder. “No. Not everyone. A good few are just gad for business.” He ran his fingers though the plumage on his head, tossing everything into the cooking pot.

He sighed, going to Iona and kneeling in front of her. “You should not have reacted in that way.” he said, taking her hands into his own. They were small and rather dainty, but her palms were thick with calluses, her nails cracked and filthy.

They were beautiful.

“No woman should stand by as her husband is insulted and treated like a criminal.” Iona said, pursing her lips.

Garuss was a criminal. But he refrained from telling her that. He looked up at her, flashing his teeth in an attempted smile. “You are exquisite.”    

Iona didn’t blush at his compliment, but she did smile. Showing a rare moment of intimacy, she ran her fingers through Garuss’ plumage, her rough hands rubbing his horns next, finally scratching under his chin.

Garuss growled in delight, his icy blue eyes narrowing. Regretfully he stood, though he too offered her a bit of intimacy, running his knuckles agains her cheek.

He returned to his cooking. His tail slowly waved side to side, bumping into a kettle now and then. His tail was always so awkward, and a point of minor weakness. How many times had bandits threatened to cut his tale off and eat it?

Or turn his scaly hide into leather?

It was best not to really think of it at the moment. Tonight, he hoped to share a meal with his wife, and thinking of unsavory people would ruin his mood.

He took a bowl and poured a bit of the venison stew, holding it out to Iona, who took it graciously.

They ate in comfortable silence, Jordis having gone down into the cellar to give them privacy.

The house was quiet, not like their home in the Pale. There they had Oriella, who played music almost constantly. Garuss looked to the door, frowning as he thought about his steward at Heljarchen Hall.

“I hope Gregor is keeping everything in order.” he muttered, taking a swig of a nearby bottle of mead.

“Gregor is competent, my Thane. More then you give him credit for.” Iona chided, “While you were away he took down a giant that was after our cow single handedly.”

Garuss hummed in response, finishing his stew and mead. He wasn’t too fond of Gregor. He was competent when he accompanied the dovahkiin on forays into the wilderness and when asked to do basic up keep of the manor.

But defending it was another matter. Garuss already lost several chickens, horses, and cows to bandits and giants.

“I’ll believe it when I see it.” the Argonain said, flashing his teeth in another attempt at a smile.

He stood, taking another creme treat and eating it. God these were simply amazing. Why were these so rare back in Black Marsh? Granted they had their share of sweets. Namely berries that grew in the swamps.

Garuss suddenly found himself home sick. He missed the warmer waters. Most of all he missed his mother and father, whom he had not seen since he had left home for the north of Tamriel. Were they still living? It was impossible to know, as they had lived rather deep into the swamps.

When this was all over, he hoped to return. Though, with Iona now his wife, the chance of him returning was slim.

He blinked as he felt Iona take his hand in her own. She was looking at him, concern etched on her face.

“You look sad, dear.” Iona said, dropping his title of ‘Thane’ to use a more comforting term.

He found it funny she could read him. Most simply could not for obvious reason. His face was nothing like any man’s or mer’s.

“Thinking of home. It is nothing, love.” Garuss pulled Iona to her feet, “Let us sleep. It will be a long walk to Heljarchen Hall. I’ll make you a new war axe.”

Iona smiled, not saying a word.

No words were needed.
I still don't know how I managed to spell all those fucking names correctly.

Anyway, I wanted to write a story that displayed my characters relationship with his wife, Iona. Iona is the housecarl you gain by becoming Thane in Riften.

Relationships are obviously limited in the game and dialogue is limited with who you chose to marry. So yeah, I wanted to expand on that.
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Games > Elder Scroll Series > Pre Skyrim
Pairings: Cicero / Future Dragonborn - Listener
Location:  Bravil 188 4E (well before events at Helgen in 4E 201)


Story Status: Complete!
(All Chapters 1 - 6 posted)


Summary:  Tasked with delivering an important message to the Listener Alisanne Dupre in Bravil, a young and cocky Cicero let's curiosity get the best of him.  The Listener's stammering and seemingly meek apprentice Beatriz, he soon learns is but a year his junior.  She is also an "innocent" and not apart of the Dark Brotherhood.  At least not yet according to Alisanne and even though Cicero is ordered, during his short stay to help protect yet keep his distance from her apprentice, he cannot help but bend the rules.  To not just find out why Beatriz holds the Night Mother's interest but his as well.


~.~.~
~.~
.


Warning:  Again I choked up a little during writing this chapter.  So you may need a tissue too.


The waiting and wondering what was going to happen next was the worst part.  Cicero kept his eyes to the floor in shame.  It festered inside of him over what happened.  Mentally he berated himself to pass the time.  All the while he absently wiggled his toes inside his beat up, simple black, leather boots.  They just started to hurt when the Listener returned alone.  Only then did he cautiously meet her jaded eyes.  Wanting to ask if Beatriz was feeling better but what he saw silenced him.


“You have greatly disappointed me and given what we do…” she let the chilling warning remain unspoken.  To let his imagination go wild and ponder over just how stupid he was to think he could get away with even bending the rules.  


“Come,” the Listener turned away and led them back to her office.  As they made their way up she explained, “I sent Beatriz home.  You will stay away from her and may only see her by my say so.  You will still be expected to protect her but as needed only.  Do you fully understand now?”


“Yes Mistress,” Cicero meekly promised.  A part of him wanted to ask for how long but thought better of it.  Instead he took comfort that the Listener was at least permitting him to lend aid to Beatriz like any Brother or Sister.  For what reason again he wanted to ask but dared not press his luck.


“Good,” She sighed out, sat down took out another sheet of parchment and started writing.  Absently she rubbed at her wrinkled brow as she scratched away with the quill.  Since Cicero was not told to sit down he remained standing respectfully and ignored his aching feet.  It was not until Mistress Dupre sealed the new letter with wax, collected the first did she speak to him again.


“Now take these both to Rasha.  The newest one outlines to your Speaker the… let’s call it punishment over what has happened today.  Oh but do not look so scared Cicero.”  Mistress Dupre muttered in frustration then added, “The Night Mother likes you for some dammed reason.”  Her face screwed up as if she did not want to say what came next.  “She wants you to know she admires your,” the Listener let out a growl then continued, “dedication.  In time you will serve her even more closely.  Help exert her will and uphold her ways.  But know this Cicero, that when that time comes all your foolishness will and must come to an end.”


As a future Listener perhaps?  Humm… no wonder Mistress is not happy.  Not happy at all.


He speculated and liked that theory very much.  Giving a short and serious nod Cicero inquired, “Is there anything else, Mistress?”


“Just one more thing who was Didiah?”


A shiver ran through him as his heart clenched at the name.  Feeling clammy and a little ill as the images of what he had done bombarded him.  The feel of reaching in to pull life from death, one sacrificing scream gave way to weak and confused cries.  Weaving he braced himself up by holding to the back of the seat he took earlier.  Numbly he worked out, “Um… Why?  Why do you want to know of her?”


The Listener leaned back in her chair, crossed her arms and offered evenly, “Our Unholy Matron mentioned her.”


“Oh?”  Cicero blanched and shivered as the Listener noticed.  Thankfully she did not press and just waited.  Looking about he tried to remain calm.  


“She… she was my mother,” he managed to get out.  And then, in the quietest of voices he told the Listener everything.  To give her an idea on how wonderful it was to have a family and especially a mother again.  


“My sister would not come into this world.  My family were simple farmers, too poor for a midwife.  Too far away from town for any healer to come and my… narrow minded and ignorant Father never allowed any of us to learn magic.  Selfless, gentle and sweet my… my dearest mother told me to not let the child die.  There was so much blood but well… after swaddling my new sister I tried to help my mother next.  But it was of no use.  So I did what I could to make her presentable for when father and brother returned.  Cleaned everything up, they were still displeased.”  Cicero paused to give a pained and weak smile.  “But I did as I was told.  What my mother wanted and so my sister did not die.”


With a pained look Mistress Dupre gently asked, “How... how old where you?”


“Almost thirteen Mistress, my sister was most unexpected.  Mother too old really to be having more but she was so very happy about it.  Even in the end before... before leaving she held her.  Then Father did not take Mother’s death well at all.  No, not at all…”  Trailing off Cicero could not hold the facade of cheer anymore.  His face pinched in pain as he forced himself to continue.  


“He was never happy after what I had to do.  He would get drunk at times and hurt me for it.  Oh!  But I don’t blame him for that.  I don’t!  But when he tried to hurt my dearest sister I… well I promised my mother.”  Cicero swallowed hard and it took everything in him not to cry.  “I vowed to never let my sister come to harm!  He tried to but I stopped him.  I may have gone too far.  I didn’t mean to and well… at least in the end one must look at it this way, he will never hurt her… ever.”  


He took a few breaths and thought back to how good it felt being held by Beatriz in the dark.  How she told him to not go but stay.  True she did not know any of this but someday he promised himself to tell her and prayed she would understand.  It felt good to let it out in a strange way even now, to the Listener.  


Regaining control Cicero felt a small smile return and finished with, “My brother Ramiro disagreed upon how I handled the problem,” he paused, his face twisted in rage and he spat.  “But then his new wife… Petronella did not help!  Dammed Nelly!  Went so far to tell him I should never ever return!  To never ever see my dearest sister Tullia again!”  Sucking in a breath then letting it out Cicero stuffed away the anger once again.  Cheerfully he next reassured, “Oh but that is then and this is now.  They take care of her now you see?  Since I am here and obviously cannot.  But all is well because I have a new family and hope to serve and keep you all so very well as if you were my mother or sister.”


With a shaking hand slipping over her mouth from under it  Mistress Dupre whispered, “That… that explains everything.  Why she has chosen you.”  Dropping her hand next, she snapped out of the dazed expression she was wearing and in a soft tone ordered, “You’re dismissed.  And please, stay safe Cicero.”


Cicero looked her over in confusion at her words.  Noticing the shadows under his Mistress's eyes curbed his excitement over how she had just said he was chosen by the Night Mother.  Genuinely concerned, he hesitated from leaving and worked up the courage to say, “Listener?  Are you not feeling well?  Is there anything that you need?  Anything I may fetch or do for you?”


Mistress Dupre gave a little laugh.  Cicero heard the force and nervousness in it as her thumbs circled one another.  He was pretty certain she was talking to the Night Mother when she mumbled, “My even now he does it!  A good match already too if...”  Finally meeting his eyes she answered, “No I’m sure everything will be fine.  Once this matter with the dealers is finished and we can reestablish what we have lost recently, I will sleep easier.  Thank you Cicero.”


He nodded and moved to leave but paused once again.  “I have no right to request anything of you but if I may...”


Turning away from him and trying to collect herself, she gave a thick and stuffy chuckle.  “Given that sting my little bee has put upon your neck, I’m feeling generous. Ask.”


“I was wondering if any punishments that you would deem to befall Beatriz over what happened, I ask you give to me instead, please.”


“No need, no punishment.”  Reaching the small window and looking out it she ordered, “Now go.”


“But Mistress, there is just one more thing you should know of.”


Straightening her spine and turning back to him she cocked a brow at him but still grinned and shook her head slowly.  “You’re really starting to push your luck again boy.  It’s best you begin your journey back to Cheydinhal.”


Stepping forward Cicero got to the point.  “Go I shall but I believe you would wish to know why Beatriz put that mark there.”


“Oh besides you spying on her from the shadows?”


Cicero blushed, rubbed at his throat and pointed out, “Well yes there was that but actually she thought I was sent by someone to hurt her or do maybe more.  Someone dressed as I.  A woman, a Nord and by what name she did not say but did say it was about two weeks ago.”


The Listener said nothing.  Did not move or bat an eye.  The humor only drained from them to nothing.  Impenetrable as the Void and prudently, Cicero took a few cautious steps back.  At one point she looked about to blow.  Instead his Mistress came back from wherever her mind went but only a little.  Her voice was too detached and terribly collected.  It was as if the Night Mother herself stood before him.


“Anything else, Cicero?”


“No, I’ve told you all that I know.”  


Tilting her head to the side and listening, Mistress Dupre dutifully repeated the orders given to her by the Night Mother, “Go to the Lady Luck Statue and retrieve our sister Astrid.  Tell her to return here with you.”


"Astrid! Astrid from the Bruma Sanctuary?"


"Yes, is there a problem?"


"Problem? No. No problem just..." Cicero trailed off to swallow hard. Opening the door he thought to ask, “What shall I do if our Sister Astrid refuses to cooperate? I ask only because she may not listen to me. Well because ah... her and I did not exactly part on the best of terms.” He gave a nervous laugh and hoped he would not have to explain what happened.


Having a bit of fun with a brother or sister was hardly against the rules. Cicero simply had no desire to even think about the mortifying fact that he was so besotted with his very first lover he happily indulged her every whim. He ignored the worrisome fact she refused to let him kiss or snuggle her. He was content to take what he could get and what she offered. He naively thought it would only be a matter of time before she would be tender with him. Yet after the deed was done, Astrid with a bored yawn tossed him aside after his understandably brief starting efforts. The tryst had lasted only weeks still she broke his heart, he in turn called her some pretty ugly names and the entire embarrassing matter was something Cicero did not wish to discuss with anyone.


Thankfully Mistress Dupre did not ask for details but her smile was nonetheless chilling. "If she will not obey the Night Mother's order, you must dispose of her but at your leisure. Your first priority is to kill the bard and to always keep my apprentice safe, is that understood?”


Cicero paled but nodded as he rushed to obey the Listener's orders.

csphire.deviantart.com/art/The… <--Chapter Three

Chapter Five-->csphire.deviantart.com/art/The…

11/24/2014 update: At the end of this chapter I added a new twist to the story along with adding tid bits here and there in some of the other chapters to reflect this change. I know Cicero and Astrid are a VERY unlikely pairing but I chuck it up they were both young, horny and/or misguided. I've wrestled with the idea for a long time and decided I just can't let go of it. I love how this is a possible explanation as to why Cicero often calls Astrid a "Harlot" along with a few choice other names.

Is it healthy or mature of Cicero to call Astrid a harlot? Nope.
Was it healthy or mature of Astrid to not be completely honest about what she wanted from Cicero? Nope.
Is Cicero and Beth or any of the characters in this story along with Death and Madness going to be politically and morally correct one hundred percent of the time? Hell nope, that would be boring. People screw up, homicidal assassins espiecally.

Also I know in his journals he states he was the only survivor but at that time he could have just been under that impression and until he crossed paths with other survivors. For convenience I guess, in my headcanon Cicero, Astrid and Beatriz were all originally from Bruma.

Please let me know via note of any unclear points, transitions problems from flashbacks, run-on sentences (yes like this one) and typos in general.

Who is Beatriz?
Beth future Listener to the Dark Brotherhood and Dovahkiin who's story will continue on in
Death and Madness -->  csphire.deviantart.com/art/Dea…


Huh? What!
As she crossed the border into Skyrim it was suggested out of caution she change her name.


I'm confused...
This story takes place well before Helgen when Beth and Cicero were teenagers.


I must profess my deepest thanks to Heiwako :iconheiwako: for feedback on this chapter but also suggesting the name of Beatriz to help further support why Beth and Cicero unknowingly reunite in Skyrim. :)


Cover art by my dearest friend :iconmakiloomis: Makiloomis! makiloomis.deviantart.com/art/… Be sure to check out her other artwork and give her lots and lots of love! <3


Cicero and other related Elder Scrolls stories, characters and games is Bethsesda's
Beth aka Beatriz and Story is mine. ;)

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Little Pixel Heart Uh, this is finished! I think I will go play some Skyrim now :D Who wants to join me!Little Pixel Heart
Heart Animation Narration COMING SOON!Heart Animation 
:heart: rvmp PART 1: fav.me/d7pa80w
:heart: rvmp PART 7: COMING SOON!
 Heart Animation Wow, this chapter seems rather intense :o (Eek) Heart Animation
+fav  Bunny Emoji-87 (Thanks) [V5]
:heart:The new cover will not continue, it just goes with the chapter:heart: 
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Games > Elder Scroll Series > Pre Skyrim
Pairings: Cicero / Future Dragonborn - Listener
Location:  Bravil 188 4E (well before events at Helgen in 4E 201)


Story Status: Complete!
(All Chapters 1 - 6 posted)


Summary:  Tasked with delivering an important message to the Listener Alisanne Dupre in Bravil, a young and cocky Cicero let's curiosity get the best of him.  The Listener's stammering and seemingly meek apprentice Beatriz, he soon learns is but a year his junior.  She is also an "innocent" and not apart of the Dark Brotherhood.  At least not yet according to Alisanne and even though Cicero is ordered, during his short stay to help protect yet keep his distance from her apprentice, he cannot help but bend the rules.  To not just find out why Beatriz holds the Night Mother's interest but his as well.


~.~.~
~.~
.


Warning:  I choked up a little during writing this chapter.  So you may need a tissue too.


His hand upon her cheek told him what was coming more so than his at the moment useless eyes or her stammering word.  Cicero felt then heard her knife drop from his throat to clatter upon the wooden floor.  With it his fear and concerns fell away too.  All that remained was desire and a burning curiosity.  He never thought his first kiss would come to him like this.  But it was welcomed all the same, even though he knew only of her name, the sound of her sweet struggling voice and so very little of her face.  Yet he was content for now to learn the feel and taste of those slender lips.  


Teasing them back his left hand opened and closed.  Unsure where to go till he decided to cautiously rest it upon Beatriz’s hip.  Squeezing gently, silently telling her not to stop.  Encouraged she did not and he felt her stretch to tip toes to wrap her arms over his shoulders.  Dropping his hand from her face, he slipped both of them next to the small of her back.  Pulling her into a tight hug as a new urgency grew within him.  


A small part of it was to wiggle free and make a run for it.  Since if the Listener caught them like this, Cicero was pretty sure he would face serious consequences.  Breaking at least one of the tenets although as of yet technically he was not disobeying his superior.  Or so he reasoned as he gave into the denied and forbidden that was the Listener's, not so innocent after all apprentice.  Beatriz still could not see him, at least not clearly as he could only see so much of her as well.  And when she asked who he was he gave the lie the Listener provided easily.


Regardless the other and larger part of him wanted more.  Not just kissing but to simply get to know her better.  Seemingly meek but full of surprises, he wondered what others she had in store.  Cicero could only hope to deliver more messages to their Mistress or even a contract to bring him back at least once more to Bravil.  To Beatriz but for now Cicero tried to push all worries and daydreams of such things aside.  To focus upon the here and now, Beatriz's lips and the clean and somehow cooling taste of them.  As if she had just munched upon a few carrots for a snack.


When her tongue at last shyly sought and met his Cicero trembled.  It took all his self-control to not rush in like a brute and taste her deeper.  Instead he wanted to feel what she was going to do next.  The slow, careful yet intense kiss alone was more than he ever expected.  At the most he hoped to just share a few words, get her to laugh and leave her with a smile.  


But a hard life taught him the value of keeping the bar low.  Or better still to not expect much from anyone.  Before becoming an assassin and since the bloody moment of his baby sister’s birth Cicero still tried.  He had tried so very hard to be good by hunting to provide coin from pelts and meat upon his family’s table.  All for his baby sister while helping his older brother keep their drunken abusive father in check.  


Also Cicero knew from such an experience that surprises unlike the ones from Beatriz were for the most part unpleasant.  Everything took work and failure could certainly result in despair and death.  Just like how things did not work out for his father but at least now Cicero was here and alive.  He was for the moment happy with just kissing Beatriz and being a part of a new family.  His older brother, Ramiro was better suited to be a father to their baby sister anyways.  


Cicero tried not to think about them or his life before the Dark Brotherhood.  However in moments of calm such as now his older brother’s painful last words haunted him.


“You… he’s dead Cicero.  First Mother and now Father?  As if what you did to her wasn’t-”


“He struck her for laughing!  Not me, HER!  And he was going to hit her again!“  


“Still how could you!”


“I promised!  I promised Mother to keep her safe from harm!”


“Tell him to leave Ramiro!  I told you he is unfit to be around Tullia.  I told you!” Peronella his brother's new wife snipped and looked upon him with utter discust.


Ramiro signed wearily, "You are right Nelly, of course."


Cicero tried to protest, “But brother-“


“I'm sorry Cicero but you must go and never come back.”


When he moved to give his wailing sister one last hug, Peronella snatched her up shrieking, "Leave!  Leave now or I'll summon the guards you filthy murderer!"


"Please just go brother.  We'll take care of her now," Ramiro pleaded as his wife tried to calm Tullia.


"Cic-Cic want Cic," the two year old girl hiccuped between sobs.


Cicero let out a small whimper against Beatriz's lips.  The wails from his baby sister rang in his mind now as they did in his ears then.  The stinging blush which had started upon his pale cheeks spread over his entire face.  Mortified at the loss of control over his emotions the urge to flee from the room rose up swiftly in him again.  


...


The moment Beatriz felt the Messenger’s lips still, worry bubbled in her stomach.  It felt as if he was fading away as the fire inside of him was dying down.  When he started shaking, gave a small sad sound and tried to pull back she tightened her grip upon the front of his robes.  


“Forgive me Beatriz, I should-“


“Stay,” she whispered and heard him suck in a ragged breath.  She listened as he kept taking one more after another.  Each one seemed to give him some strength.  Yet between upon exhales he still gave a small sound of pain.  As she tried to think of a way to comfort him Beatriz insisted, “P-p-p-please stay.  Don’t la-leave just yet.”


“Really?  You really want me to stay?  To not go?  But if only you-”


“Yes,” she interrupted and pulled him closer.  Resting her cheek and hand upon his chest the hammering of his heart boomed in her ear.


Hugging her about the shoulders he struggled with something and confessed, “But I ruin everything.  I’m a terrible-”


“Sta-stop it!  D-d-don’t even sssay that!” Beatriz winced at the hardness in her tone.  Yet she could not stand him to continue, his self-loathing was so terribly clear.  Shyly she reached to stroke his face and ask him why he would even think that but at his throat she felt the cut.  


“Oh n-no! I … I hur-hurt you!”  She moved to fetch him a healing potion.  He clung tightly to her hand as she pulled him along.  “S-sorry um…”  


“It’s just a scratch.  I’ve been cut worse before,” he sniffed but took the vial offered.  “Still, I thank you.”  


After a time and hearing him set it down empty Beatriz wrapped her arms about his waist.  Pulling him close again, she smiled.  When he snuggled his face into her neck with a sigh it grew.  At the hot tears she felt next it faded.  Leaving her to hold onto him only tighter and worry over what was bothering him.


“You must think I’m a fool.”  He pulled back just enough to press his forehead against hers and sniff wetly.


“F-f-fools d-don’t cry.  They laugh sssilly,” she weakly joked.  


He snorted and did that funny humming chuckle again then teased, “Oh I’ll make you pay for that.”  


“Wa-why?  Whe-when la-laughter tastes better than pa-potion.  It's all-always there to help ease pa-pain, d-don't you know?”  


"I can think of at least one thing that tastes and feels far-far better."


"Oh? Wah-what?"


His lips coaxing hers to part but this time more was his answer.  She felt a deep rumbling groan as her fingers checked then teased over the healed cut at his throat.  Squirming in his arms she felt him slip deeper and demand more.  Sucking back just as hard and eager she pressed closer as he moaned happily back.  He felt and even tasted so very good.   Trembling, Beatriz savored the sweet and spiciness to his kisses.  At least until the apprehension of their Mistress possibly finding them finally set in.


"W-what if-"


"I don't care.  Mistress said I should only try not to be seen by you.  It’s dark now is it not?"  His muffled yet playful words had caused something low and deep in her stomach to flip-flop about.  His hands sliding to hips to cup her bottom set it wild.  At her shocked gasp into his mouth he jerked them back to her hips.  He even went so far to break the kiss to squeak, "Um Sorry! I-oh!  Oh my!  You’re just as bad!"


Letting him know what he had done was more than welcome, she had settled for action rather than struggle with words.  Quickly she ran her hands down his chest, sides and promptly squeezed his ass right back.  “Shhh or sh-she wa-will hear us,” Beatriz giggled, grasped her hands about his waist to pull him close and kissed him again before he could get any louder.  


"You're so... unexpected... but... I like that!  I really do," he mumbled out between soft and slow pecks.  Pulling her down to sit in his lap on the closest chair they could find.  He tucked an arm under her primly closed knees as his other hugged along her back to keep her upon it.  


Beatriz relaxed when he kept his hands where they were at.  Besides what happened earlier this boy seemed respectful and in no rush to take things too far.  Instead he worked a trail of small light kisses along her jaw to her ear.  When he started to nibble upon it Beatriz whimpered at finding out how very sensitive they were.  How good it felt till she remembered he had yet to get to and puzzle over the tiny point to it.  


"Mmm like that eh?"


She did but nervously started to squirm and when that did not work she spoke up. "Kah-kiss me, again."


She would have asked but always struggled over pronouncing the word please or any word that started with that particular letter the most.  His soft chuckle tickled her ear and she swore she could feel him grinning as he whispered, "If that is your wish... then I'll oblige."


His voice.  His taste.  Sweet divines, help me.  I want him forever and always.


Or so she naively thought and let loose another nervous yet happy laugh.  One he joined in on until he did as he was told.  His gasps echoing hers as their hands once again started to wander.  Mostly to dive in one another's hair or stroke tenderly a cheek, chin or ear.


...


The more time passed, the more Cicero's fingers tingled the very thought slipping lower.  For now his right hand had moved from her knees to massage her left shoulder as his other teasing up and down her back.  Holding his breath he debated over whether or not to dare brush his palm lightly over the rise of her modest breast.  When she broke the kiss only to moan and catch her breath, Cicero with a sigh settled for keeping it where it was.  His greater wish was to see her face, to watch carefully and know the moment he was taking it too far so he could stop.  


The opening of the room's door suddenly made the wish moot.  In their Mistress’s eyes, he had indeed taken it too far.  The dally with the Listener's Apprentice was coming to an end.  And the Listener for the Dark Brotherhood was not in the least bit amused from the sounds of things.  


Actually it was the lack thereof for she made none, at least at first.  Probably in utter shock over how Cicero did not bother to flinch but instead stubbornly refused to stop what he was doing to her apprentice.  Reasoning he was going to probably be killed for this, Cicero just simply closed his eyes tighter, stole one more kiss from Beatriz and awaited hopefully a swift death.


His dearest Beatriz however had other plans.  She sprang up and out of his lap moments later as if he just cast a flame cloak spell.  Shielding her face too from the bright light that spilled in from the hallway she scrambled to get between them and promptly spilled her guts.  Surprisingly and fortunately she did not stammer much.  


"M-mistress!  I made him do it!  I swear!  P-p-please don't pun-punish him!  I blew out the candles, sa-pa-prised him, p-put a knife to his throat.  Told him to-to explain himself, he said he was your m-messenger and-"


"That is enough Beatriz.   Yet from the look of things he did not appear upon my arrival terribly put out by your demand."  The Listener's voice was utterly calm and collected as Cicero jumped to stand.  Her hands folded behind her back as she slowly made her way around the two of them.


Cicero felt terrible as he heard Beatriz start to cry but dared not to look up.  He only risked taking her hand as it bumped his.  And he wanted to smile in bittersweet joy when she squeezed it back and struggled to collect herself.


"D-don't pun-pun-p-punish him!  M-mis-misss-tress p-please."  


She kept on speaking as the Listener just remained silent as the Night Mother to the rest of her children.  Every word she uttered next was choked out.  Cicero thought it must have only brought Beatriz more pain and embarrassment.  Yet she would not stop.  


And it was all done for him, the lowliest of assassins, brought into the fold for killing his drunken father.  Who raged and understandably went mad at what his middle son had done.  But Cicero had to do it.  He always did what he was told and for mother always.  He had to save his dearest sister, especially since his mother told him that everything would be all right.  So as told he cut her out.  


“Good boy Cicero.  My good boy.  You did the right thing.  I’m so proud of you.  So very-very proud of… my brave boy!  She’s so…”


“Mother?  Mother no!  No!  You said-you said everything would be... Oh Mother!  No please!  NO! Don't go!”


Pushing the painful memories of his mother’s last words and the anguish came next; Cicero finally dared to meet the Listeners eyes.  Scowling and tightening his grip upon her apprentice’s hand he whispered, "Please no more, sweetest Beatriz.  Wipe away those tears for I think our Mistress has listened enough and understands perfectly.  I thank you but trouble yourself no further upon me, for I do not deserve it."


But Beatriz would not listen.  She only tried again and sobbed harder as her Mistress slowly pried her fingers loose from his.  All the while she shushed softly and gently then pulled her apprentice away to the kitchen.


Cicero could not even bear to look now and see the pain which probably contorted Beatriz’s flushed wet face.  Instead he kept his head low.  Did not even need to be told to remain and stood right there not moving one inch as the door closed behind them.  The darkness enfolded around him once again.  Only this time it gave no comfort.  For this time he was now alone.

 csphire.deviantart.com/art/The… <--Chapter Two 

Chapter Four --> csphire.deviantart.com/art/The…



Please let me know via note of any unclear points, transitions problems from flash backs, run-on sentences (yes like this one) and typos in general.

Who is Beatriz? 
Beth future Listener to the Dark Brotherhood and Dovahkiin who's story will continue on in 
Death and Madness -->  csphire.deviantart.com/art/Dea…

Huh? What! 
As she crossed the border into Skyrim with her father, he suggested out of caution she change her name. 

I'm confused...
This story takes place well before Helgen when Beth and Cicero were teenagers.

I must profess my deepest thanks to Heiwako :iconheiwako: for feedback on this chapter but also suggesting the name of Beatriz to help further support why Beth and Cicero unknowingly reunite in Skyrim. :)

Cover art by my dearest friend :iconmakiloomis: Makiloomis! makiloomis.deviantart.com/art/… Be sure to check out her other artwork and give her lots and lots of love! <3

Cicero and other related Elder Scrolls stories, characters and games is Bethsesda's
Beth aka Beatriz and Story is mine. ;)
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This is a bard song for Skyrim.

It is lore-friendly: these events did happen in the canon lore of the Elder Scrolls.

I thought that the past deeds of both the Stormcloaks and the Empire could do with a bit more emphasis in the game; especially if you want to make an informed decision when joining the civil war...

This has the same rhyme scheme as existing in-game songs, such as Ragnar the Red or The Age of Aggression/Oppression.

:bulletgreen: Art and poetry commissions are open! - details here.
:bulletpurple: tumblr

Art and Lyrics İLiefesa
Original game İBethesda
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(Requested by Dekler :3)
Fleet waited.
And waited.
And waited.

....

She opened her eyes, and saw that the Enderman had backed away slightly, and was now holding out a hand to help her up. The blond stared. What... Why on earth? In utter confusion, she grabbed it's hand and let out a yelp as it hoisted her to her feet with ease and held out the diamond block she'd abandoned when she'd run away. But why? Fleet tilted her head and took the block, looking into the Enderman's eyes. It stared back and seemed to quiver a little, but it could still move. Why? Just... Why?

The answer was because it liked those big bright blue eyes, and the shiny hair. The Enderman wondered whether or not the hair was soft. Fleet didn't understand why it was staring at her hair... Did it want to pet her or someth- Her question was answered as it raised it's hand to her head and ran it through her short hair. It sent a small shock through her, jolting her body. It was indeed soft, and the Enderman could detect a faint sugary scent wafting from the pretty locks. Fleet on the other hand just felt sort of awkward. This was sorta weird... A faint blush appeared on her cheeks, because she was so confused and embarrassed. Did this tall gangly thing just follow her to her house to pet her, or what?

She looked at the floor, down at the Enderman's feet. The second she did, she saw him take a step forward and looked up in surprise- SURPRISE! Much to her absolute confusion, she'd looked up and locked lips with the Enderman. Almost immediately, she took a step away. However, the Enderman just wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close again. He liked her. He liked her a lot. He liked the feelings his tummy had when he looked into her eyes, and he especially liked the feeling that he'd had just now. Fleet's face was bright red... This was so awkward. Did this beast.. No, this person have no idea what was coursing through her mind right now? In all honesty, it was like it had a crush on her or something... Oh god. Oh god. Her eye's widened, and she looked up at the tall, dark shadow she was being hugged by. Despite being rather naive when it came to love, she knew what she saw in those eyes. Infatuation. Curiosity. But no lust. That was interesting. But still awkward. Here she was being apparently courted by him, even though he'd just been terrifying the hell out of her a few minutes ago. What. The. Heck? She thought, unconsciously leaning her head onto his chest.

The Enderman let out a gleeful whisper and hugged her tighter, wishing it could speak to her. But it couldn't, not in this realm. In this realm, he was paralyzed by the stares of everyone until they looked away. And for some reason, after they stopped looking at him, he would attack most of them. He didn't understand why, though. Nor did he understand how this girl was any different, other than the fact that he liked her a lot. But he didn't know if she knew. What if... he took her to his realm, to The End? After all, he couldn't court her correctly, otherwise. When Endermen found mates, they went to the Great and wise Enderdragon and asked for a scale with which to propose to their mate. The dragon would give them the scale, and they in turn would give the scale to the lucky Enderman/woman. Or, in this case, Human. The idea in his head felt great, so the Enderman went with it. He let go of Fleet, who'd been sort of comfortable for a while there and tore one of her heavy curtains from the window, draping it over himself. It was daytime now, so they needed to make a break towards the portal.

Fleet stared, not really happy with him for ripping her curtains off of their hinges, even if it was probably to protect him from the light. However, she had no time to say anything about it, because the Enderman grabbed her by the hand after wrapping himself tight with the curtain and threw one of his Enderpearls to the ground. Fleet let out a yelp of surprise- Not the first one today- as they were instantly warped to the inside of a Stronghold, in front of a large glowing square with lava below it. Fleet had no idea what it was, she only knew that the seemingly suicidal Enderman was pulling her along with him into the portal, straight towards the lava. "Are you crazy?!" She screamed in total horror, not wanting to die today. However, they didn't die. The bright portal blocks caught them instead, and they fazed away instantly. Fleet blinked.

Then unblinked. Suddenly, the two of them were in a strange world, where there were Ender people everywhere. They looked up with interest, seeing one of their brethren covered in a strange cloth, and him holding hands with a pale skinned girl. One of the female Enderman came up to him and asked, "What is this?" In a whispery voice. She wasn't mean about it, just inquisitive. Another one came up. "A ghost?" He suggested, tilting his head. Fleet's Enderman shook his head. "No... Human." He stated, smiling. Within the actual realm of The End, one could actually see an Enderman's features quite well. Fleet was confused. "Umm.." She murmured, tilting her head. The Enderwoman looked up in surprise. "You can... Speak?" She asked innocently, so much so that Fleet had to crack a smile. "Well, yeah. But... Um... Where are we?" She asked, tilting her head. The Enderwoman smiled back and giggled. "In The End, of course. Ec'e Has brought you here, for reasons we don't know..." She explained, reaching up suddenly to run a hand through Fleet's golden hair. It shone brightly within the dim light of The End, making her truly seem like a ghost. Fleet blushed a little, not used to so much attention. However, she turned to Ec'e, the Enderman who had brought her here, and whom she'd seemed to develop a small attachment to. "Why did you bring me here... Ec'e?" The young woman asked, tilting her head. Ec'e Looked away slightly, and a tinge of purple came to his cheeks. "I can't ask you until I go get something." He explained, then turned to the Enderwoman who was busy petting Fleet. "Eun'e, can you maybe show her around while I go do something?" He asked, and Eun'e nodded. She knew exactly what was going on. But first, she looked at Fleet, who had a look of confusion plastered onto her pretty face. "What's your name?" She asked, smiling as she led her off towards god knows where. "I'm Fleet. Nice to meet you." She said happily. Eun'e's smile widened. "I am Eun'e, as you know. Nice to meet you as well, Fleet. I'm Ec'e's sister, by the way." The two walked off, with a few other Enderpeople following along to question the Human about her world. In the meantime, it was up to Ec'e to get a scale from the Almighty Enderdragon.

It wasn't all that hard to scale the islands of Whitestone to get to the Enderdragon. What was hard was getting him to give him permission to become lifemates with the human girl, Fleet. The dragon simply did not understand. "You..." It rumbled in it's deep voice, which still had an echoey tone to it, "Wish to take a human. Not from this realm, not even your own species... That's interesting. But why do you wish to do so?  Is it because she's a shiny new toy, to show off to all the others?" It asked, tilting it's head as it inspected it's huge claws. Ec'e shook his head, but had trouble finding the words to speak. The dragon smirking and leaned in close, until his large snout was a mere inch away from Ec'e's face. "So. You don't want to show the human off. I can see into your mind, why you like this human. No Enderperson has ever caught your eye, but when you saw the human today, you felt a flipping in your stomach, didn't you? Something new, special, pretty, full of wonder and life. Something you could fall in love with." It murmured, making Ec'e's face go dark purple. That was exactly how he felt. But the way the Great Enderdragon had put it, it sounded like it was shallow and not even real love.

Suddenly, the dragon turned away and let out a great, laughing, roar. He plucked a scale from his hide and turned around, handing it to Ec'e. "Go now, little Enderman. Just go." He ordered, still chuckling. Ec'e booked it off the mountain, grinning like a madman. He was going to get Fleet, and take her. They would be each others. As long as she accepted the scale.

And you now what?

She did.
xD Ending requested by :icondekler:
I fail at cute endings, so it's really super duper uber sappy. xD
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