Snowflake's Journey

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NorroenDyrd's avatar
By NorroenDyrd

Literature Text

Slowly, as if settling for the night underneath a downy blanket, the sturdy wooden houses sank into the tall, smooth waves of snow, and as the people lit up their hearths inside, the warm glow poured out of the windows, making them resemble a glittering golden necklace resting on the shoulders of the mountain. The lone Wood Elf looked on at the serene sight from afar, and knew that it was almost time - time for cheerful songs, and exchanges of presents, and a hearty feast that would last till morning. He watched wistfully from a stony ledge high above the village, as the people far below scurried about, their brightly patterned knitted scarves flapping in the wind, and greeted and embraced their neighbours, joyous laughter escaping their lips with gusts of soft white vapour. Burdened by the dark curse of vampirism, the elf could not join the mortal revellers: they would only push him away in fear, and the only taste of the feast he would get would be a tankard smashed against his head by a drunken Nord. But even though his nature should have compelled him to look upon the children of daylight as merely his prey, he did not treat them so - nor did he resent them for making merry while he had to lurk in the shadows as an unwanted outsider. Instead, seeing them so happy filled him with a gentle, bittersweet feeling - and he wished to do what he could to make their happiness even greater.

So the elf raised his cupped hands to his face, focusing all of the magical energy he had within him - and as vampires, favouring the dark and the cold, have a special affinity towards frost spells, he managed to conjure up a shimmering, silvery blue snowflake, intricately carved out of unmelting ice. Giving his icy summon a small but assured smile, the elf tossed it gently up into the air, and sent it on its way.

The enchanted snowflake travelled across the land, leaving behind a trail of soothingly tingling blue sparks; and whoever caught sight of it, suddenly felt strangely uplifted (even if for a brief, fleeting moment), and mirrored the smile that accompanied the snowflake's creation.

It passed over the heads of a dark-haired, somewhat sour-looking Imperial man and a Dark Elven woman, who seemed to have some human blood mixed in as well. They were treading wearily side by side down the frozen road, laden with bulging bags and boxes of very festive-looking loot, and bickering all the time; but when the snowflake passed them by, showing them with a burst of sparkles, they started, their frowns smoothing over, and slipped their hands into each other's grasp, chuckling to themselves.

Then, the snowflake whizzed in through the open window of a brightly kitchen, impervious to the heat streaming from the blazing drove and the bubbling pots. An Orcish chef, who was bending over an open cooking book with a frustrated grimace, heard the hum of the snowflake's enchantment; and as its blue glow reflected in his eyes, he was overcome by a surge of inspiration, and set back to work with gleeful zeal, whipping up a mouth-watering festive recipe that would rival the creations of his kinsman, the great Gourmet.

The snowflake, in the meanwhile, continued its journey, tickling the nose of a bug-eyed black horse that was trotting through the wilds, scaling the steep cliff side with lighthearted ease, as if it was a smooth paved city street. When the horse sneezed, its rider, a wild-looking woman with strange facial markings (and a white-adorned red hat capping her head), let out a thunderous guffaw - and the snowflake flew off, another part of its long quest completed.

Its next visit was to the sanctuary of a reclusive order of assassins, where it hovered over the head of a black-haired Imperial woman, weaving its shining trail through her braid like an ethereal ribbon. The woman was busily writing something in her journal, doodling pine cones and fir branches on the margins, and only became aware of the magical visitation when it drew a prolonged awed sigh out of an onlooker - a man in a tattered jester's motley, whose darting, restless gaze grew calmer, and almost sane, as he watched the enchantment's shimmer light up the woman's face.

A moment later, the silent wonderment was gone, and, with a tittering giggle, the jester drew the woman into a long kiss. The snowflake flitted away, passing into another secluded dwelling, where it caressed the pallid cheek of a stately, coldly beautiful woman, who had been touched by vampirism like the spell's creator. She regarded the snowflake with a curious half-smile, and when it floated away, she sat down at a writing desk and started writing a season's greetings card, beginning with 'Dearest Serana'.

There was another vampire to be visited as well: a Wood Elf like the spellcaster, who was just putting up the decorations in his home with his Argonian wife and two adopted children. In a flash, the snowflake scattered enchanted glitter over the simple little cloth flags and paper garlands, making the children squeal in glee and clap their hands, hopping up and down on the spot, while their parents beamed at them and held each other close.

Rushing out of the happy family's window, the snowflake, in a similar fashion, poured its blue sparkles over the dress of an elf-blooded courtesan, who was on her way to a party. Then, once more, the glimmering spell floated over the rime-crusted road again, lighting the path of an uncannily tall, rugged, bearded Dunmer, who was barely wearing any clothing despite the sharp bite of the cold. He was travelling all by himself, and there had been a strong chance that he would spend the celebration night on his own, camping among the half-bared, snow-covered roots of some tree, old and scarred and gnarly just as he was. But the blue flicker of the snowflake revealed to him a narrow thread ploughed through the snow - a path downhill, which lead right to the welcoming doors of an inn, where there was fire and music and wine and laughter - and maybe a few serving wenches to blush and smile at the sight of the old elf's exposed battle scars.

On and on the snowflake flew. It poured its magical light into the solitary dwelling of a quiet, sad, ghost-like elf with flowing black hair as he was making a list of secret gifts to leave covertly on people's doorsteps; and it filled a dreary grey classroom with dancing rainbows, as its glow reflected off the alchemy vials that were set in a row on a table in front of a group of mage apprentices: a male Khajiit with long whiskers, a blue-eyed Nord lad, a Dunmer with charming girlish pigtails, and a female Imperial whose hair boasted an impossible shade of pink. After that, the snowflake made the air tingle with faerie music as it gently touched the lute of a High Elven bard who was not what she seemed; and added a bedazzling shine to the favourite circlet of another bard, a female Khajiit this time, as she was entertaining the good people of Skyrim with festive songs. But the spellcaster's ardent wish to bring happiness to people proved so strong that it amplified the magic beyond all limits imaginable, and the snowflake's journey did not end within the boundaries of just one province - or just one era. Gliding effortlessly against the current of time, the snowflake paid a brief visit to an age over two centuries ago, lighting up like a star over the head of the last Septim emperor, as he gave a rousing speech to his people - a sight which made their hearts swell with hope and joy.

Afterwards, it transported itself even further back, to the time of wintertide celebrations in an era when three alliances waged war, and many brave heroes adventured together in the land of Tamriel. There, it cast its magical spark in the eyes of an awestruck Khajiit with dual blades, and bounced off the water in nocturnal marshlands to entertain an albino Argonian.

Then, it allowed a playful pet monkey to chase it, as it would chase a butterfly (a glowing, magical blue butterfly in this case) - and the little creature's antics earned it a hearty laugh from its elven owner. Leaving the two of them behind, the snowflake flew past a tavern where an Imperial man, who looked rather stiff in his full set of heavy armour, was sitting down to have a special celebration dinner with a Dark Elf woman - and traced a swirling, glimmering pattern over the window panes, making their evening together even more enchanting. The trace of sparks that it left behind shaped itself into the outline of a butterfly swarm, circling around a blonde woman accompanied by a pet fox, and then tying into a ghostly bow around the red-coated creature's neck.

The time of the war was marked by great disruptions in the fabric of the world, with the ominous Daedric Anchors constantly pulling at it like gigantic claws and threatening to rip it apart. This allowed the snowflake to slip through into a completely different realm, where preparations were underway for a similar winter celebration, a festival of bonding and giving. And give the snowflake did, its creator's generosity reaching beyond the borders of a single world.

The first faces that the snowflake lit up with a smile as it entered the new world were those of two women, a Nord and a Bosmer. Like the snowflake, they were strangers here, torn out of their own realm by workings of fate. And the sparkling blue light of the enchantment made them think of the Northern Lights back in Skyrim, and their heavy, homesick hearts felt a little bit lighter.

After cheering up the Bosmer and the Nord, the snowflake visited a friendly chess game between a red-haired elf and a flustered-looking human in heavy armour with a ruffled collar. He blushed and coughed and rubbed the back of his neck when the snowflake blew a mischievous gust of blue sparks into his face into his face; and his embarrassed expression made the elf smile fondly. The same smile played on the lips of another elf, a woman in her thirties with a face full of freckles, as she watched her kinsman in a simple grey tunic and with a wolf jaw pendant paint a fresco of a winter landscape, the passing magical snowflake adding new deep hues of blue to his brushstrokes.

A third elf, barefoot despite the nippy weather outside, was to be found in a vast circular library, peeking out from behind a tall bookcase, and utterly mesmerized by the profile of the moustached human he was watching. With a silvery jingle, the snowflake flew over his head, and drew yet another shape with its sparkly trail - this time, that of a mistletoe. The two men looked up at the ethereal plant at the same time, a bit taken by surprise - and then, exchanged meaningful looks, and gave each other the traditional kiss.

The snowflake's flight continued in a small but cozily lit workshop, where a sturdy man with a grizzled black beard was working diligently on a set of carved wooden toys, to be shared with as many children as he could make happy during this season. With a sprinkle of snow dust flashing before him, he had to look up from his crafting table - and this made him notice a visitor, a woman with the most vivid, fiery eyes. Her gaze prompted him to step towards her, and pull her close abruptly, and do some things that the children who would receive his toys were better off not knowing about.

Leaving the man and the woman to enjoy each other's company, the snowflake repeated its trick with silvery lace patterns on the window, this time picking a house where two female lovers - a short-haired human with a scar from an old burn stretching across her face, and a willowy elf with enormous emerald eyes - were resting side by side in front of a fireplace, steaming mugs clasped in their hands, enjoying a brief moment of solace before adventure came calling again. The elf pointed at the frosty swirls with her free hand, gasping in awe, and the human chuckled softly and nuzzled against her cheek.

After many, many more heartwarming little visits like this, the snowflake travelled full circle, retracing its winding path through time and space back to the world where it was created, and into the hands of the lone vampire, who was still observing the approach of a festival where he was not welcome. And when this delicate shard of carved crystal touched his skin, it finally melted away - for even though his dark curse still help him firmly in its icy grip, the elf's heart suddenly filled to the brim with strong, lasting warmth, as he sensed how many people his spell had touched, and how many eyes it had brightened. And at that moment, even though there was still no place for him at the jolly celebration below, he did not feel lonely any longer.
A little Christmas-ey story about how my Skyrim character Midir (who obviously hasn't met his friends Ria and Erik yet) is trying his best to spread some holiday cheer, despite being so socially awkward and, well, vampiric.

The characters mentioned here are as follows:

Skyrim characters

:iconskyflower51: 's Melyna Desidenius (plus her husband Marcurio)

The Orc chef is a nod to :iconchefugluk:

:iconspaceskeleton: 's Margot (plus Shadowmere!)

:iconheiwako: 's Hecate (plus Cicero!)

:iconmoggyman: 's Morgan

:iconslayersyrena: 's Cevenor (plus Shahvee, Hroar, and Runa)

:iconlesliewifeofbath: 's Marceline

:iconblueoakrogue: 's Eol

:iconselaadin: 's Tabesion

:iconghanima-atreides: 's Kate

:iconirideamagicalladle: 's Sase

:iconwynnifredd: 's Telki

Oblivion characters

Martin Septim got featured because he is one of the favourite characters of

Elder Scrolls: Online characters

A dual-wielding Khajiit (whose name I unfotunately do not know yet :B ) who belongs to

:icongangyzgirl: 's Jendar

:iconpunkranger: 's Valandorion

:iconisriana: 's Davius (plus Naryu Virian!)

:iconwhisper292: 's Marie

Dragon Age characters

The two women from Tamriel getting stranded in Thedas is a reference to :iconms-katonic: 's and :iconariakitty: 's Dragon Age/Skyrim crossovers (Queen Elisif the Fair and Lumen the Bosmer, respectively)

The red-haired woman playing chess with her beloved Cullen is Rhiannon Lavellan, who belongs to

:iconcsphire: 's Elleana Lavellan (plus Solas!)

:iconmakidrawzzz: 's Yen Lavellan (plus Dorian!)

The vivid-eyed woman doing... stuff with Blackwall is Arya Trevelyan, who belongs to

:iconnanarini: 's Reia Hawke (plus Merrill!)

Happy holidays to all you guys, and to every single one of friendly visitors to my page! :squee:
© 2016 - 2021 NorroenDyrd
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Aww, this was a very sweet tale, well done!
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Wow, that's quite a lovely and unexpected comment! Thank you! :D
You're very welcome, but why unexpected?
NorroenDyrd's avatar
It's always a pleasant surprise to be noticed by a big name fan!
Aww, thank you! Didn't realize I was a big-name fan-writer here, now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside :) Thanks so much, and keep up the great work!
NorroenDyrd's avatar
I will do my best! :D
BlueOakRogue's avatar
Awwwwww I am so warm and fuzzy right now!!! I can't but send a hundred hugs to you who wrote this little beauty! :)  Exactly as the snowflake did, this lovely, heartwarming piece reaches out to everyone everywhere. Leave it to our favourite vampire to come up with something like that! A Winter-cheer-bringing-snowflake. I mean really, how precious does it get? And I can't tell you how much I loved the ending. All the happiness charged up that little snowflake and brought it back to Midir! <3 
All the references were wonderfully done! Each so unique and clever, no names, but instantly recognizeable. Also, I kinda choked up while I read the Eol one. I've missed that boy, and I didn't realize how much.  You painted such a lovely picture for him... Now? I guarantee you he's jogging down that hill and is bursting into the inn, snow flying everywhere, (scanning the room for lovely ladies) and ready for celebrating. :) 
Thank you (and Midir) so much for bringing this wonderful bit of cheer to my world! Again, here are some more holiday hugs!! :3 Happiest christmas and new years to you! :D
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Oh gosh, your comment brought the biggest smile to my face! I am so, so happy you approve both of the message this story sends (the good you do always returns to you) and the inclusion of Eol! :squee: This was a blast to write, and it means a lot to have been able to add up to the Christmas cheer! :D
IRideAMagicalLadle's avatar
Aw it's so beautiful and pretty! :iconsobeautifulplz: (well it does have Midir in it, and he's always beautiful and pretty and sweet, so what did I expect?)
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Aww, thank you! Midir has never considered himself to be pretty, but he kinda is, isn't he? Add to that his ability to commune with animals, and you'll have yourself a veritable Disney princess! 
MakiDrawzzz's avatar
A very sweet story!<3 ; . ; And you are even sweeter for adding Yen-Yen into it! *hugs on* Thank you so much!<3
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Awwww, it was a blast to write! And Yen is so adorable with his bare footsies! :D
spaceskeleton's avatar
Stop, this is too sweet! So hard to be the Grinch with you around Happy Tears
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Ooops! :XD: (Don't worry, I do plenty of my own Grinching when all the commercials come on :B ).
Selaadin's avatar
Oh man, what a treat this is! And to see it on my birthday too, I'm so ecstatic right now I can't even describe it!!
This is ever so charming, and poor Midir too for the lonely christmas, though I'm glad he can gain solace in something so sweet ;m; he is a pure cinnamon role-model that deserves care. Tabesion for sure would think so; I will be sure to write something in response to this to keep up the christmas spirit!!! :heart: snowflake v2 
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Eeee, thank you so very much! :squee: I am so, so glad I was able to add up to your birthday mood! :D

I can totally picture Midir and Tabesion as buddies who secretly do nice things to each other without ever meeting face to face. :XD:
MoggyMan's avatar
Such a beautiful piece of writing, thank you so much for including Morgan :la: I always feel blessed whenever you (and anyone else <3) uses my Skyrim OC that I spent so much time with :)
And Morgan would definitely smile at that snowflake and not say anything ;) You know her (and me :XD:) so well :D

Thank you so much, and have a great Christmas in case I don't get to talk to you before then :) :hug:
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Dawwwww, thank you kindly! It's the best feeling, spreading positive vibes among my friends! :D

You have a fantastic Christmas as well! :squee:
rheilea's avatar
This was really sweet! <3 Thank you for sending a little cheer to Lumen! She needed it!
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Awww, I am so glad to see that you like it! ^^
ChefUgluk's avatar
A very beautiful piece of writing! :) (Smile)  I love the idea of the little magical snowflake!  
I can just picture an orc chef, cooking all sorts of delicious Christmas goodies; makes me hungry! :D (Big Grin) 
 Thank you for writing this, you did a wonderful job!:happybounce:  
NorroenDyrd's avatar
Yay, thank you so much! :D 'Tis the season of stuffing! :XD:
ms-katonic's avatar
This was really sweet, thank you!  Elisif would definitely have appreciated a bit of cheer from a friendly snowflake, especially if her family had yet to find her.  (If it turned up after they did, Maia would also have loved the snowflake, although her father would be less keen. :D)
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