Cala's Short Stories

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Cala's Short Stories

Postby Calandria » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:07 pm

Just a place to post my shorter fictions (original and non SW-fictions).

For now I'll mostly post stories I've written in the past 2 years. After having straightened out some of the more glaring mistakes, that is.

Enjoy :)

Story List:

[Oblivion] The Doors of Sovngarde
[Oblivion] The Siege at Kvatch
Last edited by Calandria on Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Calandria » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:08 pm

Fanfiction: Oblivion (by Bethesda)




The Doors of Sovngarde


Mari had pretty blond hair. It was soft. And ever so slightly, it curled. Mari liked her hair. Every morning, she took care to bind it up into a tight coil, making sure every strand was protected from the grim of the day, from the tug of the guard's helmet, from the blood which occasionally came her way. It was the one luxury she allowed herself: her hair. During those few hours which were her own, she would take it down, and brush it until is shone like little strands of sunlight. Most of her guard comrades laughed at her. Yet she often caught them gazing at the strands as if it were a precious treasure – out of reach yet visible.

Mari spent her days hiding her hair, and guarding a gate. The occasional wild beast and outlaw livened up the days somewhat, and together with her bow and trusted sword she dispatched those easily enough. Then he came, and with him the fire and brimstone of Oblivion. The heat rolling over blackened earth reminded her of her father's smithy, but unlike that place of memory, this place of nightmare offered no escape.

A scamp swiped its claws at her exposed side as she brought her blade down onto a fallen but still living Dremora. The bite of its claws dug into the looping chains of her cuirass, and refused to budge. Reaching for a dagger, she ducked a massive claymore, and reached back toward the scamp. Since the first gate had appeared outside of her city, she had learned her lesson well: scamps, while small, could still mean the difference between living dying.

The long field outside of Bruma was slowly running with small streams of blood. Not just human blood either. Mari ignored what it meant. If the hero did not soon close the gate, then her home would burn. Determination welling up inside of her, she redoubled her efforts. Strands of her long hair were slowly coming loose; her helmet had deserted her during a particularly vicious swipe of a blade. Now the strands were slowly unraveling around her, the golden glory of her hair – inherited from her Nordic mother – was turning crimson from the fine droplets of blood permeating the air around her.

Then he was at her back. His clear blue eyes seemed untarnished by the horror of the moment. Concentration focused his attention on the battle around her. A priest, they said. A warrior, she said. A lightening spell arched over her head, taking out the clanfear making a run for her. Emperor, they said. He had the calm of a rock on a stormy beach; she could well believe it. Perhaps, if he lived, then this horror would end. Perhaps, if he lived, she could go back to spending her evenings sitting in front of the fire in the guards' barracks, the light reflecting off her hair, weaving sunlight into the windowless room. Perhaps, if he survived, she would take Soros' offer of marriage.

Half turning to scan the remains of the battle field, she caught sight of the biggest Dremora to date, and it was barreling towards the little rise where she and her Emperor stood. The man hadn't noticed him yet, still busy with another assailant. Her shout hummed with the power of her race. Yet it wasn't enough. It wouldn't be enough.

Her sword raised, Mari slipped around her Emperor, and lunged at the oncoming Dremora. A prince he must be. His armor shimmered in blood red and golden yellow, unlike the black and red of the normal ones. It would make sense, to send a prince to fight an Emperor. Her blade skidded along the near impenetrable armor, searching for a chink where it may sink into the flesh it protected. Futile. It was futile to fight a Dremora heads on with the wan strength of a mortal's arm.

"Ysmir, help me." Did Mari say this outloud? She doubted she had the time to utter a word as the Dremora Prince's claymore sunk into her flesh. Her armor was as nothing against it. In the sudden silence following her body's clash with the Dremora's, she could hear a shout, a cheer. Had they won? Then why could she see the gates of Sovngarde? Why the battlefield slowly fading from her sight?

Blue eyes. Regretful blue eyes. The eyes of a ruler. The eyes of the man she fought to protect. So they had won. Faintly, in the deafening silence of her mind, she tried to smile for him. In Sovngarde she would have plenty of time to brush her golden locks. It would be alright.

*M*

Martin knelt before the guardswoman who had stood beside him during the latter half of the battle. Her green eyes still stared up at him with blank forgiveness. Guilt gnawed at him as he reached down and gently closed to forever unseeing eyes. How could he accept her sacrifice? He knew that he must live if Tamriel was to have a chance. Knowing and feeling were never quite the same.

He didn't even know her name, and she died for him.

"Mari. Her name was Mari." A soft voice spoke not far from him. A Nord from the town community who had joined to help fight had dropped to his knees not far, his gaze on the still features of the woman. The long strands of what must have once been a lovely golden color lay tangled around her in a mess of blood and mud. Martin nodded at the man, and spoke a hushed prayer for her soul before he stood to face the battle field. How many had died? Too many. How many more would die in his name? Too many.

And there, walking through the mud of their recent battle, came his champion. Her elven armor shimmered with enchantments, the russet strands of her hair, normally bound in a tight braid, floated around her like a halo of fire. She too would eventually die for him.

Did any of them ever have a choice?

Did he?

Mari pulled her coiled hair down from its sheath, and settled on the bench nearest the fire. The light played over the golden strands like little drops of sunlight. A mug of mead was within arm's reach as she slowly began combing it all out.

"Let me tell you," she began, as several warriors settled on the bench near her, "about the emperor I died for. His eyes shone clearer than a cold, sunlit winter's day, with the dazzling brilliance of the snow. What better man to die for, than such an Emperor? It was on the eve of the last days of the Third Age…"

With rapt attention, her audience listened. A good story was worth its weight in gold, in the Halls of Sovngarde.


Author's Note: Sovngarde is the Nord's idea of heaven, similar to the Norse Valhalla. Warriors who die in battle are granted the right to sit within the gabled halls and drink, sing, and fight to their heart's content.

I hope you liked it. It was just a little something which tormented my mind as I decided how to spend my Sunday afternoon. ;)
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Calandria » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:04 pm

And another one belonging to the realm of Oblivion




The Siege at Kvatch


Skuros took a deep breath of the fresh air which rushed to meet him. It sickened him. Two of the churls under his command nearly doubled over as they inhaled this pure freshness of Nirn. As kynmarcher his tolerance for physical discomfort was noticeably higher, even if he did understand the temporary weakness of those two underlings. Not that it would help them when it came time to promotions. Such weakness could not be rewarded, and would not be rewarded.

A blood red sun was setting behind him, painting the sheer cliff ahead of him in the as of yet unspilled blood of the city sitting enthroned high above his head. By dawn, the blood would not be an illusion and the sun would find its rival in the smoldering remains of that very city.

Stepping over the remains of the small gate to Oblivion which had brought them here, Skuros led the dremora under his command on the long climb upwards. Unlike those troops even now marshaling in the staging grounds outside their Lord's main fortress, they wore almost no armor and only the lightest weapons available. They would not be charging in towards a defended main gate, but slip unnoticed through a badly watched secondary gate.

The strain of climbing in this fresh world showed when, during the deepest part of the cold night, they reached the top of the sharp cliff protecting the soft side of the city. They had only lost three scamps in the climb, and one churl would be good for nothing, but he had expected no less. He had reached the rank of kynmarcher not only through his strength and bravery in combat, but also because of his keen mind. As such he accepted those losses as part of the numbers. They would not be missed.

The mortal servants of Lord Dagon claimed that the last of the dragon blood resided in the place of worship of this place. Why they had not simply killed him as with the weak, reigning fool upon the mortals' throne, Skuros did not know. While it was not his place to question, he wondered why Mehrunes Dagon would mobilize his entire army to destroy one weak mortal. Perhaps as a show of power? He didn't question further as he slipped into the city ahead of his men. With no armor to encumber them, they passed almost silently through the streets.

Just as they reached a small plaza adjacent to the place of worship, alarms began to sound throughout the otherwise still streets. Then the earth trembled as if in fright and the earsplitting roar of the siege engine filled the street with a barrier of noise which seemed to thicken the air until it became almost impassable.

Skuros and his men were already in position when the first of the panicked mortals ran from their houses towards this place of worship. Did they hope to find sanctuary within? If so, then they were fools. No building upon this world could stop the fury of Mehrunes Dagon.

"To the Chapel!" Skuros' head snapped over towards the sound of one mortal not cowering in fear. His vision flashed as the hint of the divines skirted over the man's skin, and at once he knew. He knew that this was his prey. It was this mortal, with eyes blue as Nirn's skies and a slithering silver aura. This mortal's fall would spell the end of the Aedra's reign over Nirn.

"a-cweccan*!" Those under his command surged forward at the rough glottal tone of Skuros' voice. The dozen scamps which survived the climbed immediately surged towards the prey, while the churls chose to go after the terrified mortals running senselessly towards the Chapel. The kynmarcher focused on his prey, choosing to remain in the deeper shadows he had hidden in before the beginning of the attack.

The crackle of an ice spell vibrated amongst the stones of the court, barely heard underneath the still screaming siege engine. Skuros glanced around to find the source, finally laying his eyes upon the prey, and the three dead scamps laying half way across the plaza from where the mortal stood. The remaining scamps shied back as their leaders lay between them and their target. As one, they decided to seek easier prey. Cowards as they were. A small smile stretched his lips as he considered the prey. It would be a far better challenge than he'd thought. He would have been disappointed had a swarm of scamps taken him down.

Almost leisurely, Skuros stepped out of the shadow of the statue where he had chosen to watch. Ignoring the cries of his churls, he paced to face the prey, blue eyes watching him with a concentration he had not expected to find in a mortal. Regardless of the screams and terror surrounding him, he seemed to understand that he, Skuros, was the real threat. But he was no warrior. No warrior would be foolish enough to lose sight of the other threats around him.

Just as quickly as the thought materialized in Skuros' mind, it vanished. A churl attempting to blindside the prey suddenly froze as the ice spell hit it, and a dark skinned woman's shove sent it crashing to the ground, shattering into a thousand glittering slivers of ice. He would not underestimate his prey. It was a worthy opponent.

"You will die mortal." The rasp of Skuros' voice as he used the unfamiliar words of the mortal's language seemed to reach the prey, because the mortal simply shrugged, and readied another spell. In the distance, the sounds of battle came ever closer, but still, Skuros had time enough to reap the glory for himself.

Mindful of the spells crackling at the tips of the mage's fingers, he inched closer. Between anticipating the next spell's trajectory and ducking at the right time – made easier by his lack of armor – Skuros managed to cross a third of the open space between himself and the mage. Only one ice bolt came close enough to singe him, leaving his left arm feeling oddly numb.

The main battle seemed only a scamp's throw away, and inching closer. It was time to act if the glory was to be his. Startled he realized that he was the only one of his detachment left standing. It seemed that perhaps Churls were not so well suited to such a task, unused to fighting without their heavy armor covering them like a carapace.

"Cwylan" With the shout, Skuros rushed forward, ever mindful of potential spells, but feeling his time for glory slip from his fingers. He expected the mage to throw everything he had at him. What he did not expect is to have the man simply wait. Just as he reached his prey, and swung his blade to cut through the mortal's weak flesh, he ducked underneath the swinging arm of the blade, and reached up, the mortal's warm hand sliding across the exposed flank. A flickering of cold began to spread through him at the touch. As the iciness spread through him, he lost more and more control. Slowly, almost sickeningly so, the ground began to rise up to meet his downward fall.

The mage had not prepared another ice spell. He had not waited to throw everything into one last ditch effort to hit him. Instead, the mortal had paralyzed him. He could no longer move.

"Quickly." Quickly what? Skuros couldn't seem to move his head enough to look back. The bite of a blade into his neck and the sight of the blood slick pavement were his last sensations before tumbling into the waters of Oblivion. Merhunes Dagon's ire surrounded him like an impenetrable shell, and in those last moments of consciousness, he knew that he would never again be allowed to walk the Deadlands.

***M***

"Brother Martin!" Tierra's voice drew him from his stupor as he watched the Dremora's last feeble struggles for life. "We must get to safety."

"Safety? In this city?" They might have won the battle for this small plaza, but he doubted the battle for the city could be won.

"We must at least try." Her voice entreated him, and pleaded with the very core of his being, that part of him that had always thirsted to help people. It was a part he had tended to ignore during his tenure as a Sanguinite. It didn't matter now. With a brief nod and followed her towards the still open Chapel door.

More dremora came pouring into the plaza as they slipped through, and forced the heavy door shut, barricading it from within with anything they could get their hands on.

It would be a very long night for the hundred odd survivors out of a city of thousands.

Author's Notes:
I know that in the game, you can count the survivors with both hands. But considering that this is supposed to be a thriving city, I would put the population closer to a few thousand, instead of the very few the game engine has space for. So I would assume that more than a dozen would make it to the safety of the Chapel.

I hope you enjoyed my somewhat different point of view of the siege of Kvatch. I know I enjoyed writing it.

About Language:
The spoken language I use for the dremora is actually anglo-saxon. I didn't want them to speak plain English, and I wasn't sure just what language to make them speak otherwise. I figured Anglo-saxon would be distinct enough to make a difference. All translations are from the online Anglo-Saxon Dictionary at www.bosworthtoller.com

a-cweccan ; p. -cwehte; pp. -cweht To move quickly, to shake, vibrate

a-cwylan: to die
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Lord Tuvitor » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:08 pm

I bought Oblivion about a year ago and I still haven't brought that damn amulet to Joffrey. :p
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Calandria » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:11 pm

=))

It took me a while to actually get to that. :p I tend to get side tracked. As in...oooooo now what's that place. Doesn't change the fact that eventually I did get around to doing it and as usually happens, I was disappointed by the main quest. Although not as badly as with Skyrim. Now that's a main quest where they really should have taken more time on. It all feels unfinished. As if they had suddenly run out of time. =((
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Emperor's Prize » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:14 am

Quick question: You have these listed as fanfic ... what was the original story world?

Also, I just loved the twist in the first story - the change in perspective and the message it sends. Nicely done. B-)
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby Calandria » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:07 pm

From a computer game called Oblivion EP. From your question I'd say you're not familiar with it.:p

I enjoyed writing those two since they're not the standard pov for that fandom. Domething new for a change.

(and typing on a cell phone 8-} sucks.
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Re: Cala's Short Stories

Postby SarkaVrae » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:29 am

i'm not familiar with Oblivion, but The Doors of Sovngarde was excellent!! Mari was an incredibly full character considering how show the story was. :)
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