User:Vulpa/My Second Fanfiction
This fanfiction is written by Vulpa, and unlike my other one has plenty of spoilers. Reader discretion is advised. If you're still reading, then let me know on this page's talk page whether or not you like it! That is also the place to tell me if there are lore-related errors in my work. Please don't change anything on the page itself unless it's a simple grammar error or typo. Also, this is my second piece of fanfiction (hence the pagename), and in the first I also used a fictional character named Silva Garethi. Please note that there are some lore discrepancies between the two. Thanks, and enjoy! P.S. Oh, yeah, I don't want to take the time to accent all the 'i's in Silva; they're supposed to all have a little forward-slant accent thing. Oh well.
The Lost Years
An Explanation of the Times Between the Oblivion Crisis and the Defeat of the World-Eater
(in order of appearance)
Silva Garethi-- Bosmer protagonist
Silva clenched her hand into a fist, concentrating hard. When she opened it, she held cupped in her palm a ball of blueish light that jumped quickly from her hand to the air above her head, illuminating the path in a warm glow in front of her. It followed her like a lost puppy as she strode forward. The stone walls of the museum were clean and dry and reflected the glow of her magelight back at her. The walls were lined with numerous paintings and tapestries, depicting times long past and nearly forgotten. Many were mouse-eaten and dust-worn, and in several places thread had torn and paint had peeled. But they all told a story, of ancient times when Sheogorath had refused to succumb to the Greymarch, Daedra had walked Tamriel, and dragons had been hidden awaiting their lord Alduin. These were the final days of a past era, when champions had been much in need. Silva herself had risen to that challenge, and against the odds, saved all of Tamriel and the Realm of Sheogorath as well. Now, she was growing old, and the magic no longer came to her quite as easily. But she still had the power, and she realized that she would probably need it if Skyrim was to conquer evil and end the tyranny of both the Thalmor and the dov (dragonkind) under Alduin. Or perhaps she would teach another the necessary skills, someone younger. She had seen a Khajiit recently, an adventurer named Rhaja'Harr, who seemed able. Maybe.... For now, however, she was content to dwell on the old days, her glory days, the time when she became Prince of Madness.
"They say there's a strange doorway that's opened in Niben Bay. Glowing lights, weird statues... all on an island that came out of nowhere." The Argonian scoffed. "I say they've been a little heavy with the skooma. Don't waste your time." Silva nodded, deep in thought. "I'm sure you're right. Perhaps I'll check it out anyway, to make sure there's nothing odd going on, like a messed-up spell." The Argonian frowned. "Fine." He muttered darkly as Silva walked away, her blue mages robes flowing behind her. Something about 'fools', 'wasting time', and 'skooma'. Silva smiled to herself. She didn't care who the rumors came from, she was just there to see whether there was any truth to them. After breaking out of jail a year earlier, she had toured the country, doing odd jobs for money and building a reputation as a master mage. She had then taken the advice of a dying emperor and played a key role in the relighting of the sacred Dragonfires and closing the gates to Oblivion forever. Now, she was hoping for a couple easy jobs and some much needed rest. This rumor of a glowing gateway seemed like just the easy sort of job that she was hoping for before returning to her home in Skingrad.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
A quick swim brought her to the middle of Niben Bay, where the 'island' (which Silva was convinced was some magical illusion) had suddenly appeared. It seemed to be made of a somewhat porous brown rock, with carved pathways and otherworldly plants. The 'door' was a blindingly bright entryway of blue-white light that was situated in the middle mouth of a three-headed statue. Silva's smile widened. This mage was good. In front of the door stood a Bravil City guard, sword drawn and ready for combat. Nearby stood a shabbily dressed Khajiit swaying on her feet and proclaiming loudly that nobody could see her, although she was quite visible. Deranged, thought Silva. All the same, she could be dangerous, and that might be why the guard had his sword out. Silva quietly prepared a powerful flame spell but didn't make it visible. No need to draw attention yet.
Just then the guard caught sight of her. "Oh, you don't want to be here, miss. Normal people have gone in that door, and these... things... are all that come back out." He looked askance at the crazy Khajiit, who was muttering to herself. Suddenly she cried, "You can't see me! He can't see me! No-one can see me! I'm not here!" The guard sighed, then continued, "I'm not here to stop you, just to warn you off. And clean up the mess if you come back." Silva grimaced. This was no longer sounding like a prank spell from some aspiring mage, nor even a trap of any sort. No, this island was here by magic she couldn't even hope to understand. Something very powerful was behind this, and she resolved to find out what. "I'm going in," she declared to the guard. He shrugged and opened his mouth to speak, then shut it quickly and turned toward the door.
A flash of light caused Silva to avert her eyes, then a figure appeared in front of them. A dark elf, he fell to his knees and shook his head. He too was also obviously quite mad. He muttered something, then began to shout. Before Silva could release her fire spell, the guard had stepped forward, blocked the dagger thrust, and delivered a killing blow. Silva looked on silently, then stepped backward in shock as a booming voice called, "Unworthy, unworthy, unworthy! Useless mortal meat. A nice effort, though. A shame he's dead. These things happen. Bring me a champion! A mortal champion to wade through the entrails of my enemies! Really, do come in. It's lovely in the Isles right now. Perfect time for a visit." The voice faded and the Dunmer's body slid quietly into the surrounding water.
The guard returned to his position by the door, obviously not caring whether Silva entered the door. At this point, however, Silva knew that she could do nothing but. She had to know what was going on, and if she were the mortal champion mentioned... well, there was only one choice. And, she reasoned, this could be her chance for true greatness! After all, there had been six other Champions of Cyrodiil before. But this seemed to be unique! If she could explore whatever lay beyond this door, and bring back information regarding it while retaining her sanity... well. Resolved, Silva straightened her gold-embroidered robes and stepped into the light.
An odd humming filled the air, gradually fading to a nearly unnoticeable buzz that was a strange mix of tinkling chimes and tolling bells. Inky blackness opened up into a dull stone-walled building of small proportions-- a single room, in fact. As Silva blinked away the last of the stars in her eyes from the bright light, she found herself standing before a table. Ominously ticking back-and-forth, back-and-forth was a three-faced metronome, strangely similar to the faces bordering the portal she had just passed through. There was also a book, The Madness of Pelagius, and a man sitting in a chair. Silva considered him: dour-faced and oddly dressed in a black and red-fringed suit, the Breton was tapping his fingers irritatedly on the table. He indicated the unoccupied chair next to Silva.
Deciding the small man was no threat, Silva sat, surveying the tiny little room. The only exits were the glowing portal behind her and a wooden door behind the Breton. The metronome continued its eternal swinging motion and steady clicking. Then the Breton spoke, in a sardonic voice: "So, you're here at last." "Were you expecting me?" Silva was confused. Perhaps this was the man who had created the portal.
"My Lord Sheogorath needs a champion, and so a champion has come. Presuming you manage to make it to his throne room." Sheogorath! The Daedric Prince of Madness! That explained the three-faced metronome, as Sheogorath was well known to be bipolar, among other mental conditions. The book also made complete sense-- Sheogorath was once good friends with the mad emperor Pelagius. And this oddly dressed man seemed to be his secretary.
"Fine," agreed Silva. "Where do I find Sheo-- him?" Daedric Princes didn't often make portals to the mortal realm, preferring to act in subtle and mysterious ways, and only rarely then. Therefore, something important must be happening, and Silva wanted in on it. "Such an abrupt little elf. So eager, so stupid. You haven't even asked my name." Taken aback, Silva stammered, "Er, sorry, sir. I guess I am eager to be leaving. So what is your name?" "Haskill," snapped the man, "Though I don't see why it matters. Now before you rush off to die, I must warn you that you also have the choice of going back to your home. That portal will remain open during your stay here in the Isles. Take it, or this door, which leads into Passwall." Before she could ask, Haskill added, "Passwall is just on the Fringe of Madness, where hopefuls wait for Sheogorath's blessing. Make it past the Gatekeeper, and you will be in the Realm proper. Then make your way through Mania and Dementia to New Sheoth Palace. My lord will be waiting, and you don't want to make him wait too long. Otherwise he may find something else more important than entertaining the likes of you." With that, the Breton stood and walked out the wooden door behind him. As it closed, it seemed to melt into a shimmering liquid. Standing, Silva peered across the table at it, then started in surprise. The door was comprised of butterflies! As soon as she realized this, the insects flared their wings and flew around the walls of the tiny room. Each stone in the wall they passed instantly transformed into a vividly colored butterfly and joined the growing mass. Within seconds, the room had become a flock of brightly winged insects that spiraled upward into the sky.
Silva stood in wonder, looking around her. She had heard from friends in the Guild that Sheogorath had two sides to him. This place, Passwall, must be part of his darker side, as the surrounding colors were dark and drab. Sickly greens, moldy blues, and the darkest of browns and blacks melted together as Silva twirled in a circle, her mage's robes flaring out. All this, created solely from the imagination of a single being, and a mad one at that. Perhaps the madness explained the enormous mushroom trees towering overhead. Silva took a deep breath, and nearly choked on the mushroom spores that flooded her throat. Occupied with clearing her lungs, she didn't notice the amphibious creature running toward her, wielding a crude sort of cudgel.
"Ah!" she cried in shock, hurriedly stepping backwards. Tripping over a piece of rubble near the portal, she pinwheeled her arms to regain her balance. The overgrown frog-being grunted and swung at her with its cudgel. Ducking under the blow, Silva composed herself enough to ready a powerful shock spell. She gripped the creature's slimy head in her hand and allowed the electrical power to flow into its brain. It juddered wildly and fell to the ground, its cudgel slipping from its grasp.
Silva took a moment to calm down. This journey through the Shivering Isles was obviously not going to be an easy one-- madness can quickly become dangerous and is always unpredictable.
Shock spells seemed to work well so far, so she kept one out in one hand and began walking cautiously along the path to Passwall. Nothing else jumped out at her, and she was soon entering a sprawling village. The houses were large, but drably colored and suspended precariously over pools of water. Odd statues similar to the creature she had just defeated were standing tilted in marshy soil. All around, unique and variated flora caught her attention-- from purple-tinted tentacles hanging over rock faces to putrid-smelling brown cacti to sticky, tar-coated mushrooms. While examining one of the mushrooms (and extracting a sample of black tar), she suddenly heard excited voices nearby. Looking up, she saw two extravagantly dressed men talking animatedly. Walking closer, she heard the men (apparently named Sheldon and Felas Serandas) discussing "the Gatekeeper". The Gatekeeper! Haskill had said that this man guarded the way into "the Realm proper". Silva approached the Redguard and his companion dark elf.
"Ahem. Excuse me, but I heard you say 'the Gatekeeper'. Is he near?" queried Silva. Sheldon looked at her in condescension. "Why, yes, you're just in time to see him in action! He's about to kill some Adventurers." Felas shuddered. "Ugh! We'll have to stand far away. I couldn't stand if he got blood on my clothes!" Sheldon coughed into his hand, and Felas yelped and leapt backward. "Ah! You'll want to wash that hand." Silva couldn't help laughing at this. Sheldon seemed affronted. "Is something funny? You know, I am this town's mayor, and I don't abide by people laughing without me knowing why. Did I ever tell you how I found this place? I was the first one here, and of course people came soon after when they learned I was here. This place couldn't run without me." Felas covered his mouth with one hand and whispered to Silva, "So he'd like to think.... Eugh, look at the dirt on your fingernails!"
Then, as if by unspoken word the two Shivering Isles denizens turned away and began walking up a steep paved path that curved near its apex. Out of sight was evidently where the Gatekeeper was. Following, Silva turned back briefly, feeling her mage's robes fluttering. Behind her went multiple other citizens going through their daily lives-- in bizarre surroundings with absolutely foreign styles of clothing. She got more than a few odd looks, and realized that she would have to re-wardrobe if she wanted to fit in during her investigation here.
As the threesome climbed the last rubble-strewn marble step to the top of the hill, Silva stopped in surprise. This must be the Gatekeeper, marveled Silva. He was gigantic! Apparently made of bits of flesh sewn haphazardly together, the... thing stood at least as tall as four men together. At the end of one arm was a giant sword as tall as an Altmer. "Come on, men! We'll get past this monster even if half of us die!" Silva turned toward the sound and saw an Orc captain charging the Gatekeeper, his men following despite his failure to make a rousing speech. Felas gave a little squeal of delight and began clapping.
The Gatekeeper was obviously not worried by the four warriors in shining steel armor sprinting toward him. Raising his left hand, he cast a strange red glow on his opponents. One of the Adventurers fell to his knees, and the rest staggered. Their captain urged them on, and one leapt forward. A flash of movement, and the Adventurer's head was bouncing off the cobbled stone ground. Enraged, the Gatekeeper turned to the remaining three men. They fought valiantly, but soon only their captain was left. As he opened his mouth to urge his men into battle once more, the Orc faltered as he realized that he was the only one left. Dropping his sword, he immediately ran from the beast blocking his way into the Realm. Felas and Sheldon, still clapping and laughing with glee at the spectacle, parted to let him by. "That's right, get out of my town!" called Sheldon. Felas meanwhile was panickedly brushing off his clothes. "Oh, MadGod, I think he touched me!"
basic summary-- don't read unless you're me! (spoilers)
(explanation of how shivering isles portal dissolved after oblivion crisis--during travels through shivering isles, flashbacks to oblivion crisis and how martin died (heavy guilt)-- new sheogorath brought it into time bubble of its own [as haskill says, time in the isles flows differently], then opened again into times in skyrim)