Writing Prompts: Skyrim backstory

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category:

Some of you may be familiar with Reddit's Writing Prompt subreddit well I was talking with a friend who challenged me to write my characters background story for my most recent character.
The following was a result of that challenge:

Many will have of heard the songs created by the talented bards college of Solitude but on this night of the Last Seed I begin this journal so that future generations would know the truth behind the man who would become the Dovahkiin.

Whilst many believe and presume that the Dovahkiin would be a Nord I am in fact Imperial, born 4E174 near the Jerall Mountains in Cyrodiil under the rule of Titus Mede II. My father served in the Imperial legion during the Great War, a tall dark hair man of firm face from which I own much of my appearance. my last memory of him as a child was a fond quiet goodbye between himself and my mother before he deserted the legion intending to leave for Hammerfell under cover of night to aid in the fight against the Thalmor, though I know nothing of what happened to him since that night. My mother was of Nord blood though she too was born in Cyrodiil, a strong woman with straw blond hair and a fiery temper that served her well in the market. I have not seen her in many years thought if the Nine have any sense of justice she still lives and fares well.

Growing up I learned spent most of my time running errands for her general store and apprenticed to the local blacksmith before joining the Imperial legion as a scout having lied about my age enter early. Mainly tasked with guarding the roads that act as the life lines of trade within the Empire my duties often had me away from the cities hunting dangerous wildlife and bandits, it was during this time I met two good friends; a playful little Bosmer with a dangerous smile and aim who was named Physa from whom I learned to creep silently even on dry leaves and how to pick a locked chest of contraband, a young Nord Eran who had dreams of joining the East Empire Company once he returned to Skyrim and was brutal with a war axe.

We served together for many a year until a drunken evening in celebration of the capture of a particularly evasive murderer and bandit, spirits were high and Eran was as usual repeating the tale of how first day in the legion he had beaten five men just to be allowed to join to the tavern girl when the local Legion Captain a skeever of Breton entered with a Thalmor Justiciar and his bodyguard. The mood became sombre shortly after and we had just finished our wine and started to gather our belongs to leave when the Justiciar approached Physa the reek of expensive wine emanating from him, to this day I do not know what words were exchanged but I will always smile at the memory of Physa striking that Justiciar who towered a full head higher than her hard enough to send him sprawling over a nearby table.

Sharing a glance myself and Eran quickly barred the way of the equally sodden bodyguard to Physa as we tried to leave only to now find the captain blocking the doorway, more harsh words were shared with the captain who now ordered us to apologise and report for lashes in the morning. Spitting at him in disgust Eran started to reply but was cut short as Physa cried out, the tip of the Justiciars blade poking through her chest.

As she slumped to the floor her blood staining the oak we stood there in stunned silence until a growing mocking laugh wheezed through the bloodied lips of the Justicar, consumed by a rage I had never felt before I backhanded the blade from his limp grasp as I tackled him my hands on his throat before we hit the ground. Eran grasping a nearby fork rammed it with all his Nordish might into the face of the other Thalmor who screamed and staggered back. Before that day the Thalmor were seen as untouchable by the likes of us, something to be tolerated and obeyed if needed but now all the frustration and the fear was gone I only knew that this Altmer had to die. To that day it would be safe to say I had never truly faced a man face to face but now as the Justicar grasped at my hands and face attempting to loosen my iron grip his throat I knew the fury and panic such a fight brings.

Feels his fingers probe for my eyes the cold metal of his gauntlets smearing Physa across my face I instinctively pulled back closing them, suddenly Eran roared behind me combined with a sickening crunch of metal and flesh as a weapon hit home. My own rage reignited at the thought of the death of another friend I brought my head down smashing the metal headguard of the helm into the nose of the rising Justicar the proud Altmers features crumpling like a sweetroll, it seemed to take an eternity but the Altmers struggles grew weaker a final wheeze of breath escaping its lips before I opened my eyes to gaze the Justicar face, his features now forever locked in the panic of its final moments eyes wide in horror.

A movement in the corner of my eye alerted me causing me to instinctively shift to the right causing the incoming blade only pierce the amour of my shoulder rather than my neck, black dots dancing before my eyes from the pain I remember screaming “Traitor!” as I twisted drawing my iron dagger belt before ramming it into the Bretons unprotected armpit as he brought up his blade for a overhead sweep. Staggering aside to avoid his death swing the captains corpse fell upon the Thalmors tearing the knife from my grip, breathing heavily I looked up searching for a nearby weapon to face my final adversary only to find Eran gazing back at me with a grim smile his waraxe coated with the blood of the Thalmor bodyguard who lay in scattered pieces across the common room.
Thalmor Bastards...Well now what?” he was breathing heavy as was I though it took me a moment to notice, my hands and body suddenly aching as the rage subsided. Unable to take my gaze away from Physa I knelt beside her as I took a moment to consider my reply “With the just Thalmor we may have been able to argue our case but with the captain.. that traitor dead we'll be executed.. or perhaps maybe..” Eran furrowed his brow as I trailed off shifting his grip nervously on the axe “You have a plan? You've got that look in your eyes.” Nodding as I slowly rose to my feet I walked slowly towards the door a strange numbness seeming to spread through me at the prospect of death, “Give me five minutes to get a head start then head to the barracks and inform them of what happened but leave out your involvement.” before Eran could object I gestured towards the innkeeper Alethius and tavern girl from earlier who stood behind the bar still watching the spectacle nervously “You'll go with him and back up his story alright?” To his credit Alethius agreed spitting upon the Thalmor corpses as he did so.

So in the blackest hours of the morning I did flee into the nearby forests avoiding my former Legionnaires and beasts, thankfully there was enough (not entirely untrue) rumours about myself and Physa been lovers that Eran story was believed. Whilst I refusing to become a bandit wandered living off the land and the occasional trade with travelling pedlars as I travelled a strange compulsion leading me in the direction of Skyrim until by chance I stumbled into a skirmish between Stormcloak rebels and the Imperial Legion which is how after six months of travelling on Morning of Morndas, the 17th of Last Seed, 4E201 I found myself sharing a wagon with Ulfric Stormcloak travelling to our execution at Helgen.

Well I hope you enjoyed that and I'd love to see some of your own takes on the prompt.
 For those of you looking for some more skyrim related writing I can recommend a rather curious take on the subject: which is Skyrim and Morality.


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