User:Darkle/The Sack of Kvatch, and Its Subsequent Retaking
The sun was out and the day was great. Another peaceful day in the prosperous city of Kvatch, standing watch on the walls. Then suddenly, the sky was darkening, taking on a ruddy aspect.
“Look to the gate!!” sounded the cry of Jesan Rilian, a fellow guard on the wall. I ran to the front of the city’s walls, over the gate, the only way in and out of the city. Only fifty feet away from this precious city, loomed three ominous, obsidian arches. I wasn’t sure what they were, but the ground around them was scorched, and no plants that I could recognize grew near them.
Without warning, each Oblivion Gate—as we now know them—burst into flame. All was still for a moment, with those of us on the wall looking to one another for an explanation. Then, hordes of wicked, evil looking creatures flooded out of the Gates. Daedra.
“Send a messenger to the garrison! Let the people know to stay inside their homes, and dispatch a group of guards to protect Count Goldwine,” I yelled, knowing we had a serious fight coming our way. I looked back to the Gates and saw, to my horror, a third Gate, larger than the previous three rising out the ground. “Ready yourselves for battle, men!” I called again, “Keep those bastards out of the city!”
By this time, more guards had come up to support us, with reserves standing nearby in safer positions. We were as ready as we were going to be. Sadly, it wasn’t ready enough for what he had facing us. Without any formal warning, bolts of magic began flying from somewhere in the throngs of Daedra, accompanied by cruel looking arrows.
Three men died outright, and one other was injured as we learned how this siege was to be fought. All of us were huddle down behind the ramparts, praying they could withstand the magic of the Daedric sorcerers. I glanced over the wall, trying to get a better look at the spell slingers.
“Archers! Focus fire on the baby-killers in the black robes!” I yelled out, hoping I was heard. To my relief, it was, and it was the repeated down the line. It wasn’t too long before the barrage of spells lessened, and my archers could focus on the enemy bowmen.
I should’ve known that resisting would be a desperate, hopeless undertaking from the beginning, and tried to get as many citizens out as I could. Especially when the Great Gate burst into flames and even more Daedra rushed into the fray. Instead, I decided to keep the men fighting.
Eventually, a great pounding started. It rocked the very foundation of the walls my men were meeting their deaths on. A horrendous, evil looking monstrosity came out of the Great Gate, lurching, stomping. Until that moment, my small force had been doing damn well in keeping the Daedra out of Kvatch. Now, the seemingly endless storm of Daedra were cheering, and making way for what seemed to be a gigantic battering ram. And with that, three hours of holding the wall meant nothing.
The first time the ram hit the gate, there was an audible sound of creaking wood and iron. Everyone standing on the wall fell flat. It was at this point I realized that the people in this fair city needed to be evacuated. I yelled to my men to start trying to find ways out of the city for the people. Not one of them heard me. The ram hit the city gate again. It gave way and fell with a mighty thud, bringing several chunks of the wall down with it.
“Off the wall! Hold them out of the city!” I screamed, desperately hoping my cry was heard. It seemed to me it was, as my men began taking defensive positions in the courtyard in front of the Great Chapel of Akatosh. I wasn’t around for that fight though.
Somehow, I and a few others ended up on the other side of the Great Gate. The original gates had now gone out. I and the other surviving soldiers lay on the ground, weary and exhausted. There was a great cracking noise, and then a gigantic boom that caused the ground to shudder. We looked to the city, and then to each other.
“The Chapel… they destroyed it,” croaked Jesan, one of the soldiers who ended up with me. And so they had. The upper half of the Akatosh’s Chapel was now nowhere to be seen. And with the fall of the Chapel, Daedra began swarming into Great Gate, leaving. Their dark war machine went with them. The Gate remained open, however, sitting in front of a ruined, blackened Kvatch.
“We… we need to set up a defense… In case the Daedra decide to come this way…” said I, beaten. The other nodded, and we solemnly set up a weak barrier of wooden spikes. I sent three men to investigate the gate. One died outside it, killed by an explosion. The other two, Menien Goneld and Ilend Vonius, disappeared into it. I never saw either of them again.
Those of us who remained, Jesan Rilian, Merandil and I spent a painful few hours watching the city, wary of any movement or sound. A sound of running came from behind us. I swung around, sword in hand to see a ragged Imperial man outfitted with a random mix of tarnished, low quality armor and a notched iron sword. Our Hero.
He looked towards the city. “What can I do to help?” he asked.
“You can’t be serious..? Kvatch is a ruin! In flames!” I responded. He said nothing, simply stared at me. I decided he was either brave or brain dead. I gave him what I deemed a suicide mission. “Do you see that giant, burning arch there in front of us?” He nodded. “I need you to somehow close it. If you can do that, I’ve got more work for you.”
“Right. I’ll have it done,” he said, nodding, as he moved into a sprint towards the Gate. A few minor Daedra challenged him on his way. He dealt with them as one would with flies. Soon, he was gone, inside the Gate. I don’t know exactly what happened inside of it, but I do know that within an hour, the gate exploded, and there was the Hero of Kvatch, standing there, looking calm as if he was sitting at home eating dinner.
“I’ll be damned,” I whispered, running over to him, signaling my small force to follow. I broke into a giant grin as I approached him. “I don’t care how you did it, but you did!” I exclaimed. “Now, we just need to free the city and get any survivors we can. Think you can work a few more miracles?”
“Perhaps,” he said, smirking. I looked into what was once a grand entry way, now a scorched, gaping hole in a once strong wall. The top of the Chapel was lying on the ground, blocking entry into the rest of the city. However, we could still go through the Church. But first we had to get through the courtyard. Where so many of the faithful guards of Kvatch met their end.
It wasn’t long before Daedra began to attack. A few arrows and spells whizzed by. Jesan and Merandil drew their bows and began firing back. The Hero and I began charging towards them. It seemed as if the Hero was doing everything on his own. A spinning attack there, a well placed shock spell there. I’d never seen such a fierce fighter. The courtyard was clear fairly quickly, with simple scratches in return.
We made our way into the Chapel of Akatosh. To my surprise, it was full of people. Normal, regular people. I nearly broke into tears right there. I blinked a few times and found Tierra, a guard, reporting to me what had happened.
“As soon as we started taking really heavy losses, we retreated into to the temple. It was some fierce fighting for a while. The Daedra had the building surrounded,” she explained. She pointed up, towards an ugly, red sky. “But then that happened and most of the Daedra seem to have up and disappeared. I can’t explain it.”
“I saw that. But how did you rescue these people?” I asked, bewildered.
“That was mostly Brother Martin’s doing,” She replied. The Hero looked up at that name and wandered off, presumably to find Brother Martin. Emperor Martin Septim, I suppose he should be called now. “He organized search parties and helped fight off the Daedra. I never thought he would’ve been the one to get us out of our mess,” she said, a sound of relief in her voice.
I nodded. “Thank him for me, and get these people down to the bottom of the hill. Set up a camp there, for the civilians. Take Berich Inian with you and keep those people safe.”
“But I want to help—“
“No. Get those people to safety,” I ordered. She nodded and began moving the people out of the Church. The Hero walked up to me.
“What next, Captain Savlius?” he asked, smiling faintly.
“We… capture the castle and find Count Goldwine…” I replied, caught a little off guard at his use of my name. I hadn’t told him what it was. With that, we exited the Chapel and entered the Courtyard of Antus Pinder, whose statue was standing as encouragement to keep fighting. Daedra appeared from out of wrecked and burnt homes. “Shall we, then?” I questioned.
The skirmish was done quickly. Again, with Merandil and Jesan providing archer support and the Hero and I attacking up close. Unfortunately, we lost Jesan in that engagement. One of the cowardly mages struck him with a fire bolt. He died quickly. There were three of us left, and a whole castle left to retake.
We ran across the bridge that spanned the moat. The portcullis was a wreck of twisted metal. The ground in front of the castle doors was strewn with bodies. Most of them bodies of men and elves. I can only imagine the horrors dealt there. The doors themselves were ripped off their hinges and had deep gouges in them. It still frightens me to think about what could have left those marks.
Upon entering the main hall of the castle, a slew of fireballs flew in our direction. None of them caused any serious harm, but now we were ready for battle. It was against what seemed to be human bodies made of fire. I almost despaired until I saw the Hero quickly dispatch one with a quick thrust to the heart. We made quick work of them, acquiring only minor wounds.
The three of us rested then, for a little while. I turned to the Hero, “I need to you to go through the rest of the castle… alone. Clear it of the Daedra and if you can, bring Count Goldwine back alive. If he is even still alive… I’m sorry. I’d go with you. But I’m just too tired.”
“I understand. Don’t worry,” he smiled and jogged away, into the blackness of the castle. It was a while before we heard back from him. I was afraid he’d been killed for a while. But then, he came out of the darkness, carrying the limp body of the Count of Kvatch. I dropped to my knees at the sight.
“I tried,” he said. “But there were just too many Daedra to protect him from… I’m sorry Savlian.”
“No. Don’t be. You’ve saved Kvatch, and delivered us from the hellish nightmare.” I looked again at his armor. It was in even worse shape than before. I took off my cuirass. My enchanted cuirass that the late Count himself had given me.
“Here,” I said, pressing it into his hands. “Take it. I don’t plan on needing it ever again. May it serve you as well as you served us,” I said, bowing.
“Thank you…” He nodded and walked out. I never saw him again. And it’s only now that I realize, lying here, wizened and frail, that I never learned his name.
--Savlian Mattius, former Guard Captain, Kvatch