User:ArgonianShadow/Biography of a Shadowscale
Biography of a Shadowscale
Chapter One: Origin of a Shadowscale
I was born late in the night, in a small cavern southeast of Gideon, on the thirteenth of Second Seed, 1E413. I am Argonian, born under the sign of the shadow, raised in the ways of stealth and murder. A shadowscale. My true name has long been forgotten, so I have gone simply by the name "Shadowscale" for millenia. I served many a king in my homeland of Black Marsh before leaving to explore the world I had only ever heard about.
I started my journey by heading north, to Morrowind. There I spent several months with a family of farmers northwest of Narsis, helping them for some extra coin, as well as room and board. Eventually I left, heading northwest into Skyrim. Upon passing the eastern border of Skyrim, I set my eyes on The Throat of the World. I took my time getting there, restocking in Windhelm before heading on to Whiterun. I stayed a few nights at an old farm that was run by a kind old couple before restocking once again and departing to the Throat.
It was at the base of the mountain that I found an odd stone structure (which would later be dubbed "Orphan Rock"). I decided that this was going to be my home. I built a bridge to connect the structure to the lower ground and a small hut to live in. I lived there for a few years, making regular trips to Whiterun to restock my supplies. For the most part, it was easy living. An occasional wolf or two, maybe a troll, to take care of but these events were few and far between. It turned out that I had underestimated the threats Skyrim produced. It was here that my world changed.
One night, during Sun's Dusk, 1E441, my camp was attacked. Thankfully, I was well trained and hadn't yet gone to bed, so I detected the threat before it was too late. Unfortunately, warning or not, I simply wasn't enough for a full coven of vampires. The vampires fell upon me. Several times I felt their teeth dig deep, but, for the most part, my blade dug deeper. Mortal as I was, however, I slowly began to weaken. Eventually I fell, not dead, just...overcome.
When I woke the next afternoon, my first thought was that I had dreamt the attack. That hope was soon crushed as I got a good look at where I was. Blood was everywhere. Deep splotches where the bodies should have been, a heavy trail of it leading west, and a smaller to the east. I was miles away from the camp, and assumed the vampires had decided I wasn't worth the extra weight, fleeing to the east to heal. I swore vengeance, but decided it could wait and headed west, towards the mountain.
Though injured and limping, I eventually made it back. My belonging were scattered everywhere, some even hundreds of feet out. I decided the cleaning could wait and went to the hut to sleep. I woke the next morning from a startling nightmare. I thought at the time that the vampires' attack had me jittery. I could never have been more wrong. It was after the third night that I finally realized what had happened. Sanguinare Vampiris.
Chapter 2: The Assault on Shriekwind
The first few weeks were terrible. Many a merchant and traveler fell to my hunger. However, I came to terms with it fairly quickly, long before I could actually control the urges. This is because I also killed vigilantes and other vampires, and I had a dark nature to begin with. I never had been one to kill without reason though, and though one might say my hunger was a reason, I disagree. I was but another man in the world, and I did not fear the death I too often delivered.
Eventually, I learned control, and soon after that mastered it. I chose my victims carefully, clearing out bandit camps and assassinating highwaymen. As my vampiric powers and control grew, I started planning an assault on the vampires who attacked and turned me. Luckily, they were terrible at covering there tracks. Of course, they didn't need to be good when their numbers consisted of literally a small army. I ended up finding out their location from a bandit in a cave I was clearing. He told me to go back to "Shriekwind, where you demons belong." The information was worth a quicker death than what I could've given him.
It took one trip into town to figure out that there was a particularly large and infamous coven of vampires lairing at an old Nordic ruin known as Shriekwind Bastion. I was honestly excited. It was now 1E668, Red Mountain had just erupted, and I viewed it as a need for change in Skyrim too. By eliminating the Shriekwind coven, I would be putting Skyrim's vampires on the endangered species list, taking their population from a couple hundred to a couple dozen.
I planned carefully, some of these vampires being much older than I was. I needed to be careful, using stealth to clear as many as I could. After several months of learning everything I could about Shriekwind and preparing supplies, I was ready. I started by creating two campsites. One to act as my base of operations, and one to lure the vampires on the outside to me. Being able to see in the dark, I had no need for a campfire, so my actual camp was made in a small cave, about a mile north of Shriekwind. The decoy was about a quarter mile south and had a large campfire meant to attract attention.
It was only half an hour after I made the fire that a small scouting group of three vamps showed up. The first two were dead the minute they entered the clearing. The third I made sure screamed. The plan worked surprisingly well, luring another ten or so vamps. Such a small group was also easy to eliminate. I approached Shriekwind, using my night vision to scout the place out. I was lucky that the vampires were so many in number. Over the years, they must've grown arrogant, forgetting what it was like to need security. All of the outside vamps had gone to the camp because of the scream, and all were now dead, allowing me to safely approach the ruin.
From what I learned about the ruin, there were several large floors, each capable of housing several dozen vampires. I started by sneaking to the bottom floor. On my way down, however, I felt an odd energy wash over my body. Something empowering, that I somehow knew I could feel only because of my vampirism. A source of power, I thought. I wasn't wrong, but I had definitely underestimated what was waiting for me. The Shrine of Molag Bal.
Chapter 3: Escaping the Shrine
At first, I basked in the power that being in his presence bestowed, but then my head started clearing. I thought about what I knew about Molag Bal and his history. Having thoroughly studied the history of the vampires after becoming one, I knew of our origins. Of the torture Molag Bal had unleashed upon Lamae, our Blood Matron. I felt her anger flow through me as surely as Molag Bal's and I unleashed retribution upon his shrine in her name. Then I turned on the vampires who had watched my actions with anger and annihilated them. The master vampire had an artifact of Molag Bal's that I recognized, from the carved designs, as his mace.
I took the mace to the remains of his shrine and smashed it through his stone skull, the strange energy disappearing instantly as the mace vanished and an odd noise sounded through the ruin. The noise increased in volume, becoming recognizable as a scream. The volume continued to increase until the cavern was shaking and columns were collapsing. The vampires located throughout the ruins must have known where the sound was coming from, as I was soon surrounded.
I twisted and turned, skewering vamp after vamp upon my blade, but I was outnumbered and the cave was collapsing. I ran for the exit, killing vampires along the way, and as I neared the top floor, the stairway collapsed behind me. I took that moment to catch my breath, listening to the vampires below scream as the ceiling came down upon them. Apparently all the vampires in the ruin had come after me, as there were none remaining in the ruins.
I returned to my camp and slept until the next night. Refreshed, I returned to my home upon Orphan Rock. On the way home, I realized that I was now tired of all the snow and cold that defined Skyrim, and I decided to move south, into Cyrodiil. I left my home and traveled to the Imperial City, where I purchased a house in the Elven Gardens district.
I lived here for several years, making friends and helping the locals with problems. The city began to recognize me as a warrior, someone to call to for help eliminating bandits, highwaymen, vampires, or any other dark beings. Thankfully, I had the northern virus for vampirism, and could therefore walk in the sunlight. While uncomfortable, it made sure the locals didn't suspect what I really was.
One time, however, I became at a loss for food. I hadn't had requests for weeks, and I refused to feed on the locals. I ended up sneaking out of the city in the night, taking extra care that nobody saw the affects starvation had on me. Granted, being a lizard made it hard to tell anyhow, but still. That night I raided a bandit hideout and decided to use their empty wine bottles to store their blood. Now I could feed whenever I needed to without worrying about sneaking about.
It had been thirty years since I had gotten my revenge, but thanks to my scales, the locals couldn't tell that I hadn't aged a day. I was living a flawless life, with enough friends and hunting tasks to keep me happy. This all changed one night, however, when I dreamt a dream of darkest darkness. Sithis was calling me.
Chapter 4: Disappearance of the Dwemer
Sithis tasked me with traveling to Vivec City in Morrowind and told me of a home that I was to use as a base of operations. He told me to be prepared for another vision, in which He will give me another task. I woke from this dream-vision with a jolt and immediately gathered my traveling gear. I was born for the sake of serving Him and would follow His requests until my dying breath. I left the moment I was ready to go and immediately pointed myself in the direction of Vivec.
The journey to the city was swift and without trouble. I found the home Sithis had shown me for sale in Vivec's Foreign Quarter, purchased it, and settled in, unsure of what to do next. I decided to familiarize myself with Vivec's surroundings, which I spent several weeks doing, going through Balmora and Ald'ruhn and familiarizing myself as much as possible with Vvardenfell in general.
It was months after the first vision that I got the second.
My task was laid out before me and when I awoke, there on my bed beside me was a single arrow. His arrow. The Rose of Sithis. I readied my gear and moved on to the Ghostgate and beyond. Fighting would be here soon, so I climbed Red Mountain as fast as I could manage. Knowing I would be safe, I found my spot and leaped over the lip of the volcano, smoldering in the heat, and landed on a small terrace.
Crawling into the interior wall was difficult. Not for size, though it was a small area, but simply because the rocks were so hot. For Sithis though, I'd do anything. Hours seemed to go by and I thought I heard the sounds of battle outside of the mountain. I found the forgotten, remote room that was to be my base of operations and got ready. It was time to dig.
I pulled out a pickaxe and started hammering away at the wall. There wasn't far to go. Soon I broke through to the chamber of the Heart of Lorkhan. Soon after that the fighting started. I watched with unsated hunger as blood fell on both sides. Eventually the Dwemer known as Dumac fell, and another, Kagrenac, did what I knew he would.
Kagrenac started attacking the Heart of Lorkhan with his special equipment, disenchanting it. It seemed that his fear of death overwhelmed his hope of winning, and for good reason. Within minutes, as friend and foe alike fell behind him, the remaining not even noticing him, the enchantments on the Heart dispersed. I readied the Rose of Sithis, and as soon as the last enchantment was removed, I pulled and released.
In not even a blink of the eye, the Heart and Kagrenac were gone. As I looked, all of the Dwemer that had been fighting had disappeared as well, even the dead. Sithis had never given me any reason to doubt him, and so I knew that all Dwemer had disappeared, leaving confusion in their place.
Kagrenac had promised Sithis an entire of species of souls. What He would use them for, I had no reason to know. But I did know enough to realize that the damage to the Heart must have created a power outbreak large enough to pull off Kagrenac's deal. Immortal the Dwemer shall be, but only in the Void.
I packed up my equipment and left the way I came. On my way home, however, I passed, simply on the road, a maiden of pure beauty. My own race, but unlike me, she was as pale compared to the moon as I was dark compared to the night sky. A beautiful contrast, and I knew she noticed it as well. But I had no time for such things, and as such, I kept walking. On the way back, however, I noticed something most peculiar. I felt no urge to feed from her, despite my ever-growing hunger.
TO BE CONTINUED...