User:Iron Druid 52/The Grey Legion
1:A Time of Chaos
The ink on the paper of the White-Gold Concordat is still fresh. Churches and chapels across the Empire begin removing their idols to Talos, Tiber Septim. In Skyrim, many Nords, seeing Talos as their truest and purest god, forsake the White-Gold Concordat and the Empire itself. Brother fights brother as a strange time rift above High Hrothgar throws a dark shape of terror and evil back into the world after thousands of years being cast adrift through Time. A fateful traveler is caught in Darkwater Crossing after attempting to cross the border, being captured alongside the leader of the rebel Nords, Ulfric Stormcloak. And all the while the Dunmer of Skyrim try to live through the hell they are put through, with the eruption of Red Mountain covering their ancestral home in ash and the racist Nords making life in Skyrim difficult, the boiling point of these events were coming to a head...
Marvin Hlaalu was a Dark Elf, a Dunmer, but had always been a fighter, at least, insofar as he could remember. His grandparents had been prominent members of the once great Dunmer House Hlaalu, but all that it was to him was his name. He had been born and raised in Windhelm, where the insults and beatings brought about by the Nord children had seemed natural. When he first hit back he was astonished by how quickly he grew into a finely tuned fighting machine. None dared call him names or fight him in the city, especially since he had begun using his now famous war axe, Hlaalu's Cleaver. This night, found him just outside of the gates to Windhelm, clanking in his steel plate armor, freshly returned from clearing a bandit den for Brunwulf Free-Winter, the only good Nord in the city. He had been about to enter when he heard a voice call out beneath the bridge. Peering over the edge he saw a shape splashing by in the river, but the night was too dark for his aging eyes to see very well. "I can't swim!" the shape call out in a distinctively Dunmeri accent. Marvin jumped straight into the frigid water. Grabbing the drowning elf by his shirt collar, Marvin hauled him to the water's edge, into the snow opposite the city. He began pumping the water of of his lungs when three heavily armed Nords walked up. "What have we here." The apparent leader said. "Two pieces of trash on the side of the river.". The second spat at Marvin's feet and shouted "Grey-Skinned scum.". the third laughed and said "It's only that old codger, Hlaalu. The grey-haired grey-skin.". His laughter was silenced as Hlaalu's Cleaver chopped off his head. The other two fell just as quickly beneath Marvin's practiced strokes. Helping the now revived elf to his feet Hlaalu began walking away from the city, into the forest to the south. "Where are you going?" The young Dunmer called out. "As far away from that Nord city as I can. I've just killed three guards. They'll be looking for me now." And continued walking. The young one grabbed a sword off of one of the dead men and chased after Marvin. Catching up to him Marvin looked at him sideways. "Can you use that?" He asked, eyeing the bony framed elf askance. "Well enough." The younger replied. Extending his hand he cheerfully intoned "Name's Flinn Suja." the one one said. Shaking the hand Marvin repled "Marvin Hlaalu." The two walked off in silence into the night, into the forests on the slopes of the Velothi Mountains.
3:Dunmer Mage Trash
Rindral Faral knew magic like the back of his hand. He was a master of every school of magic and had almost been a teacher at the College of Winterhold. Then half the city had sunk into the Sea of Ghosts and the Dunmer had been forced to flee. Riften had seemed a wondeful reprieve, until his coin ran out and he was forced to work at the fishery and the Black-Briar meadery just to pay for a squatters hole in the Ratway beneath the city. Sitting in the bedroll, he was forced to sleep on, he cast a ball of magelight onto the ceiling and looked over the little he had. The bags of enchanted items, jewels, and gold had disappeared quickly, back when he had thought himself rich. Now, looking at his grimy tattered shirt that he was forced to wear daily, he thanked the Nine that he still had his magic. He worshipped Talos, perhaps not openly, but he had seen more than one Thalmor agent pretend to be a traveler, so he kept his thoughts to himself. Preparing to fall asleep he began hearing a strange scratching at his door, metal on metal. Realizing his lock was being picked he drank a potion of invisibility he had managed to hold onto. When the door opened he found himself looking at a young Dunmer. He was wearing an odd kind of leather vest with lots of pouches and a hood that partially hid his face. He stepped inside and closed the door quietly behind him, then cast a spell of Candlelight to hover around his head as he searched for pressure plates or false blocks, searching for treasure. The potion finally wore off Rindral as the young thief's back was turned. "Ahem." Faral called out, startling the youth, who turned around with his palms up, magical fire playing around them. "I don't want to have to do this." He said, casting Flames out of both hands at Rindral. Rindral however, pulled up a Steadfast Ward with almost contemptuous ease. The thief's magicka reserves ran out long before the Master Mage's. "Just tell me who you are and I might let you live." Rindral said, casting spells of fear and paralysis on the frightened thief. "Athal Almu." The frightened boy called out through clenched teeth. "Now please let me go.". Rindral was about to respond as he heard a High Elf voice call outside his door. "We are here for the Talos worshipper, Rindral Faral. Please come quietly." He door was blasted inward in a fiery explosion, but he already had spells ready. Casting Fireballs, and Ice Storms and all other manner of spells, any Thalmor outside were dead in moments. Activating a switch benath his bedroll, Rindral began to exit his room when he remembered Athal. The young Dunmer was practically in tears, huddled in a corner of the room. "You can come with me if you'd like." The Master Mage offered, holding out his hand. "Where to?" The Athal asked. "North," replied Rindral, "Away from the Thalmor in the city." Shakily, the thief took the Mage's hand and the two descended into the tunnels that lead under the Velothi Mountains.
4:Last Dunmer Standing
Sucio had been orphaned at a young age. His Dunmer parents had both died of over exposure to the Ash Cloud covering Morrowind. He had managed to escape before any serious problems happened to him. His parents had been the last two living members of a Dunmer Great House, leaving Sucio as the only one now. Leaving Morrowind as fast as he could he managed to grab a few things from his parents old manor, including a set of armor. Training himself to use them over the next fifteen years of his life, the twenty year old Dunmer was a veteran at fighting. Being a Dunmer also granted him better magicl abilities than most races, and he had taken to being a battlemage very quickly. He patrolled the wilds of Skyrim, his new home, wearing his unique armor, being renowned for his helmet, a facial mask and a high mohawk. The old Ordinator battle gear suited him well, as a keeper of peace, killing bandits and and thieves. Sucio was making his way along the road between Ivarstead and Riften, carrying a cart behind him laden with his gear. He wore a thick fur tunic and had padded leather gauntlets and boots that he could slip his armor over. He wore a hood rather than his helm, but kept his sword buckled on his hip. Up ahead in the road he spotted a patrol of Thalmor Justiciars. Sneering he moved his cart to the side of the road. Walking ahead of it, he eased his sword in its sheath. As the Thalmor moved to pass him by, he pulled out the blade, a katana from a friend of his, and slit the throat of the last one silently. One of them turned around to check on his partner and, seeing Sucio easing him to the ground, drew his sword and shouted. Sprinting forward, Sucio stabbed the strong sword through the elven chestplate he wore, then rolled ahead of the mage as he turned to throw Fireballs at him. diving and rolling as one spun past him, he cut the legs out from the Justiciar. As he collapsed to the ground Sucio turned to see the cart with his armor had gone up in flames with the Fireball. Cursing he turned around to the injured Altmer. "Why?" He asked through the pain. Sucio stared coldly down at him. "When Red Mountain erupted we waited for assisstance. None come, from the Empire, or from the Aldmeri Dominion, even though you claim superiority of the mer over men. You allowed my family and my House to be slaughtered and choked out by the plague of ash." Sucio's voice was ice. "We Dunmer shall rise from our ashes.". The Thalmor agent gazed up at him in startlement. "Who are you?" He asked, pain spreading as he bled out. Sucio pulled his hood back, revealing long black hair, short stubble, and red eyes so dark they were almost black. "I am Sucio Indoril, last living member of House Indoril, descendant of Indoril Nerevar and the grandson of the Nerevarine. I am Vengeance for the Dunmer." With that, Sucio Indoril slit the High Elf's throat, ending his life. Cursing the gods for the plight of the Dunmer and the loss of his armor, Sucio trudged on, making his way to the Velothi Mountains.
5:A Chance Meeting
By the 4th day after they left Windhelm, Marvin Hlaalu and Flinn Suja were well and truly lost in the Velothi Mountain trails. They could see the rest of Eastmarch easily enough, and sometimes they caught glimpses of ash covered Morrowind, but the trail they had chosen ended in dead ends and switchbacks to such a ridiculous extent that they were lost by the 2nd. Flinn proved to be completely useless with the sword he had taken, but was an excellent shot with a bow he had fashioned from an old tree branch and spare cord. The day was ending, dusk was settling on the world when Marvin finally decided to set up camp. Shaking down a thin bed of pine needles and leaves from nearby trees, Marvin set about taking off his armor while Flinn began making arrows out of stones and sticks. "Marvin?" Flinn asked as he began tying an arrowhead to a stick using sinews from a wolf Marvin had killed. "Yes Flinn?" The aging warrior responded. Flinn waited while Marvin took off his breastplate. "What was it like killing a man for the first time?" He asked. Marvin though for a few moments as he took off his greaves and boots. "It's nothing like killing an animal. Animals don't haunt you when they die, they don't keep you awake at night, haunting your dreams. Men do. Their fathers and mothers do." The old Dunmer was only in a thin undershirt and pants now, both o which had marks from where the armor had rested. "Why did you want to know?" He asked the younger elf. Flinn shrugged, "I just have a feeling we will need to do a lot of killing soon, but I don't know why." Marvin nodded. He had often felt the same. And usually he had been right. He had been about to say something when a nearby tree rustled. Marvin and Flinn exchanged glances, then Flinn grabbed his bow and finished arrows and climbed into a tree while Marvin hid behind a tree and shrubs. "Do you think we've lost them yet?" A voice asked. It sounded like a younger Dunmer's voice, like Flinn's. "For the love of Talos yes. For the one hundredth time yes. Now be quiet so they don't catch us." An older Dunmer voice answered. Not as old as Marvin, but older. Marvin stepped out from behind the tree brandishing his axe. "Don't move or you'll be dead in seconds." Marvin said threateningly. In the clearing on the path stood a middle aged Dunmer in threadbare rags and a young Dunmer, no older than sixteen in a strange leather tunic. "I doubt that highly." The older one said, preparing magic spells to cast on Marvin. Flinn's arrow hit at the older one's feet. "Now then, let's be civil. Let's start with names. I'm Marvin and the bowman in the tree is Flinn." Marvin said, lowering his axe. The other Dunmer lowered his hands. "I'm Rindral, and that one is Athal. Pleasure to meet you." On the same path, not fifty feet away, a pair of almost black eyes watched the exchange with a sense of curiosity, foreboding, and hope.
6:Five Dunmer Walk Into A Ruin...
Rindral didn't know what to make of the two elves he was traveling with. The four of them were all Dunmer, a fact which he couldn't tell if it was coincidence or fate. He and Athal had fled in the tunnels to an area near Shor's Stone, then moved into the mountains to avoid Thalmor or guards. After being lost they had happened upon the two, and now the four of them had been traveling together for two days, trying to find a way out of the mountains. One now seemed clear. "I can see a clearing, and a horizon!" Flinn called out of the tree he had scrambled up. A horizon meant a open view, and that could mean a path down. Eager to continue, but fearing night would fall to soon, the group hastily made their way out of the warren of paths to a clear space, covered in snow and stone. A path ran down the mountain. Rindral was about to rejoice when he noticed something peculiar. In the middle of the gap, for that was the clear space, a gap in the mountains, stood a structure, covered in snow but with a strange shinyorange roof. As the setting sun hit it, he realized he was staring at an old Dwemer ruin. Pointing it out to the others they slowly began to make their way towards it. "Why are we heading towards it, it's probably filled with automatons and Falmer." Marvin said, pulling out Hlaau's Cleaver. "Only one way to find out." Athal said, stopping in front of the massive door to pick the lock. Done in seconds the group moved inside. Rindral saw a few scratchiongs in Dwemeris on the wall. "This place is called Kagrenzel." He said, tapering off as the group stared at a ball of light which had materialized above a pedestal.The group moved toward it slowly, almost reverently, not even noticing the doors open and close again. When the entire group had huddled around the orb, and a fifth stood just behind them, Flinn slowly reached out his hand to touch it. The second he did, the orb flew away fast, raising a wall of the Dwemer metal around them. Rindral turned around and saw the stranger finally, a Dunmer in furs and leather. He held up his hands in protest to violence, both shouting but neither hearing the other over the groan of ancient machinery. Then the floor dropped out from beneath them. They fell, the five of them, past rocks and down, deep into a massive cavern filled with water. Even falling, Rindral cast spells of waterbreathing on his group and found the stranger doing the same for himself. They all broke the surface and began swimming for a nearby outcropping of rock which could support them. Marvin got up first and pulled up the rest, including the stranger. As they all caught their breath, Rindral finally made introductions for the group. "And what would your name be?" He asked the Dark Elf, who had the most unusually dark eyes. The Dunmer thought for a moment and responded, "Call me Sucio."
7:Not Too Bad
Sucio hid his smile as best as he could. Despite the fact that the five of them had fallen into a vast subterranean cavern, Sucio had now been more or less accepted. "What is this place?" The one called Marvin asked, gazing around. "My guess is that this was Kagrenzel's waste dump. The ruin is Kagrenzel." Rindral said. Sucio took a look around and spotted an opening in the wall near their rock. "Come on, there's a tunnel this way." Sucio began edging his way along the rock wall. Hearing the others following behind him, he entered the tunnel entrance and spotted a pale stooped shape ahead of him. Signaling for the rest to stop he crept forward. The creatures rasping breath and the hunch it sat with gave it away as Falmer. Drawing his katana silently he grabbed the head over the mouth and chopped through the neck soundlessly. The rest of the group entered the tunnel and he showed them the dead Snow Elf. "What is that?" Flinn and Athal asked at the same time. "That's a Falmer." Marvin, Rindral, and Sucio said together. As they said it, another Falmer jumped down from a hole in the ceiling, landing on Flinn and biting his left ear off before Marvin's axe clove its head in two. Rindral healed Flinn quickly, but the ear was lost. "Be silent from here on." Sucio whispered, "Falmer have incredible hearing since they are blind." The group nodded, even Flinn. They moved through the rest of the cave silently, even Marvin in his armor after Rindral casted a Muffle spell on him. There weren't too many Falmer, and the ones Flinn couldn't kill from a distance were taken out quickly by Sucio or Rindral. Marvin stayed guard on the rear and fought off a few Chaurus Reapers that attacked. At the end of the caverns was a Falmer chest filled with coins and precious gems along with a few pieces of enchanted armor that the group took. Following a long tunnel at the end of the cavern they began to hear voices talking. "When will the boss finish counting out our shares?" Asked a distinctly Khajitti voice. "He'll be done when he's done." Responded a Redguard. "Both of you quit yammering." Shouted a Nord. Sucio signaled for silence. The tunnel led straight into a bandit cave. Marvin drew his thumb across his neck and Sucio nodded, holding up three fingers. Counting down with them to zero, the group charged out, off of a small ledge to a small cave with another tunnel leading further in. Sucio sliced the head off the Khajit, Marvin chopped the Nord's head in half, and Rindral incinerated the Redguard, while two of Flinn's arrows killed Imperials who hadn't spoken. Going further into the cave they cleared it quickly. The cave had a simple layout, an entrance cavern with a floor covered in water, leading to a tunnel with a small stream on one side and a rock ledge on the other. The tunnel ended in the cavern the had entered, but halfway along the tunnel was an alcove the size of a small room. "Pretty nice place here." Marvin whistled after they had dragged the bodies out of the cave. "Not bad at all." Said Rindral. "I think this place is called Stony Creek Cave." Athal said. "Whatever it is," Sucio began saying, "I'm gonna call it home now. Who's with me." Having nowhere else to go, the other four raised their hands slowly.
8:Fate or Chance
Marvin was relaxing against a spot on the wall in the cavern that led to the Kagrenzel cavern. They had spent the last day shaping the entrance cavern and the one he was in now into perfect circles, then gave the rocks to Rindral to block the tunnel from any Falmer. Sucio was sitting on his left, chewing on his portion of venison from a deer Flinn had shot outside the cave. Athal and Flinn were on his right, discussing something in hushed tones. Rindral was standing in the center in the pool of water. After making the caverns into circles a kind of ledge pathway had formed in both caverns, leaving a rim to walk around a central pool in both. Rindral was trying to make a stone plinth in the middle of the pool. Sucio finished eating, stood up, and began pacing. "What's on your mind lad?" Marvin asked, feeling slightly restless himself. Sucio shook his head, "I can't tell if it's fate or chance." He began. Rindral turned around to look at him. "What do you mean?" He asked. Sucio stopped pacing. "I don't think it's just sheer dumb luck we've come together. I mean, a former Master Mage and a Thief meet with a renowned Warrior and an Archer, that I happened to find. Not to mention the fact that we're all Dunmer." He paused. Athal spoke up, "What do you mean by all that?" Sucio started pacing again. "Either the Nine have a plan for us, or we're all just really lucky." Sucio paused again, turning to face the group. "We have a chance to help our people, to become more than just five Dunmer in a cave. We could fight for Dark Elves everywhere." He spoke fervently. "What would we be called?" Asked Flinn. "The Grey Legion." Sucio said after some thought. Marvin gave a chuckle. "Legion seems a pretty grand name for five elves in a cave." He chuckled again. "Hello?" A strange voice called from down the tunnel to the only open cave entrance. The voice was Dunmeri. Everyone in the group grabbed for their weapons as the owner of the voice walked into the cave. He was a plainly dressed Dark Elf in his middle years. "Hello." He said cheerily, "I'm Dovor Romari, stonemason." He extended his hand to Sucio. Sucio took it slowly. "What brings you to this place fellow Dunmer?" He asked. Marvin stood up, watching the strange event unfold. "I don't know." Responded Dovor. "My wife and I woke up the other night and felt like coming this way, so we packed up the kids and headed this way." Sucio looked thoughtful. "How many are you all?" He asked. "We'll there's four in my family, five in another, two in the next..." Sucio stopped him. "There's more than just your family?" He said, confused. Dovor gestured for the group to follow him through the cave. Outside of the entrance stood graves rather than the bodies they had thrown out days before? And beyond the graves stood a small cluster of tents, with close to twenty Dunmer walking around them. They all turned to look at the five elves emerging from the cave. Sucio turned to Marvin. "Getting closer to a legion."
Around Skyrim there was a strange happening. Despite the newly discovered dragon threat after the burning of Helgen, many Dunmer took to the road, drawn on by a strange feeling they couldn't explain. Not all Dunmer came, but the amount outside of Stony Creek Cave soon grew from twenty to over one hundred. A lumber team of Dark Elves worked with the stonemasons led by Dovor to build houses, and finish the interior of the cave. A wall was erected around the small town, which the people had named Dunhaven, in honor of their heritage as Dunmer, and an army was raised of the diverse group they had, led by the five strangers who eventually came to be known as saviors of the Dunmer. All the while a fateful individual was making their way to Whiterun, to tell the Jarl about a dragon...
Questions and Comments
This was Part 1 of the unfolding story of the Sucio, Marvin, Rindral, Flinn, and Athal. Please make a post here if you read it and say your thoughts on it.