The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Let’s Write

Book One: Syrise Swiftblade, The Dark Brotherhood

Book One: Syrise Swiftblade- The Dark Brotherhood

Chapter One

Shipwrecked

“Captain’s Log Star-date 92920.08: StoutZulu Gaming reporting. I know, normally I play Minecraft and you cats, and kids get to sit back, relax and watch as I fumble around in my storage system while I’m trying to build something cool. Today, however, we’ve got a different plan on the docket.” A voice says from off camera, like the voice of a god booming out over eternity. It was the voice of the YouTuber known as Captain StoutZulu Gaming, called such because his Minecraft skin is that of a nerdy clean-shaven Steve wearing glasses and a Star Trek: The Next Generation Starfleet uniform, the red command and tactical variety of course. Now, however, the live stream feed was showing a much different type of content from a completely different type of game. This was the character creation screen from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Well, a variant of it anyway. This was the race menu screen introduced by the SkyUI and Show Race Menu mods which allowed for much deeper customization of one’s character than the base game provided, and behind the character was evidence of another mod, this one being a prison cell inside of the Abandoned Prison somewhere in the depths of the Province of Skyrim. This was the beginning of the Alternate Start, Live Another Life mod which allowed the player to start out somewhere other than the meme generating carriage ride into Helgen. Given this was going to be his first Skyrim playthrough on YouTube, StoutZulu had seriously considered using the vanilla start to the game, but since he was being honest with himself, he hated that entrance into The Elder Scrolls V. It was cool the first time, way back in 2011, but since he’d racked up more than 2,000 hours of combined playtime on all the various different formats of Skyrim released throughout the years he didn’t want the first thirty minutes of this live stream to be him escaping Helgen. Maybe in another live stream or Let’s Play format of some type, but not right now.

“Today, my dear viewers, we’re going to be playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing this Let’s Play for a while, and I know you’re used to my Minecraft content, but I’ve been watching a lot of Fudgemuppet, TheEpicNate315, and ESO videos, links to their YouTube channels in the description below, and I just had this insatiable itch I had to scratch. So, here we are, getting ready for our first foray into the Province of Skyrim.” He pauses for a moment, no doubt checking his second screen where the live chat from YouTube was displayed and a bell notification goes off with the image of The Ender Dragon swooping in on the left side of the screen. Appearing behind it is a donation amount in the Rand currency of South Africa. “Thank you Ashtirea, for your five-dollar donation, and the first donation of the stream. You’re awesome sweetheart.” StoutZulu says, returning his attention to the main screen. “Now, let’s get this character made.”

The various different bars and settings on the screen begin to change as he first switches the Nord male preset to the Nord female preset, then switches the race from the Nord to the Bosmer, also known as the Wood Elves. From there he uses a custom preset for the face he’d made prior to the start of the stream, then in the vein of MXRMods, he spends a little too much time playing with the sliders for his lady wood elf’s boobs and glutes while making her almost unnaturally skinny, all this thanks to the CBBE mod installed. Upon completion he’s got a beautiful young wood elf maiden with smooth slightly tan skin, eyes that seem to glow a preternatural green, and a smile which could stop any human man dead in his tracks. Her hair is a platinum blonde with one braid coiling over her forehead from the left temple and falling free onto the right side of her face. She’s got short bangs, and the rest of her hair flows free cascading over her shoulders and halfway down her back. She seems almost perfect with her fit athletic build and small, but extremely powerful muscles. It’s something of a ruse though, given evidence by the marring of her face. Running diagonally across her face, starting at the right temple and ending at the leftmost corner of her jawbone are three long jagged scars. He’d spent hours earlier that day in one of the many programs designed to assist with Skyrim character creation to get them just right. The skin looked as though it had been ripped instead of cut, and they were a nice vibrant red, a likely indication the wounds had never fully healed. StoutZulu knew what it was in this wood elf’s past that had caused her scars, but it wasn’t something he was willing to share with his viewers just yet. All would be revealed in due time, after all.

The job of character creation complete, StoutZulu taps the “R” key on his keyboard and the name input comes up. He highlights the word prisoner and taps “Backspace” then pauses. “I’ve got a character in mind,” he says into the mic, “one I’ve played many times before, and normally when I play her. I’ve got another mod I use. It’s one which adds the Blood Elves from World of Warcraft as a playable race, but I decided to go lore friendly this time. Given it’s my first Elder Scrolls YouTube content. This character’s name is Syrise Swfitblade”—he types the name into the field as he says it aloud— “and I hope watching her as much as I enjoy playing her. If I get enough positive feedback for her I just might try to turn her into a standalone follower mod, but we’ll just have to see about that. I’ll be frank, and say I don’t know that much about modding, but it’d be a cool learning experience. Anyway, let’s get on with the game!”

StoutZulu hits the “Enter” key and the game begins.

***

Awareness slowly came to Syrise Swiftblade and her body ached all over. She stood, bracing herself against a solid stone wall that hadn’t been there before. At least she didn’t remember it being there before. To be completely honest, though, she didn’t remember anything from before. Nothing from before the moment she woke up here. Wherever here was.

She looked around, taking stock of her surroundings and noted the worked stone walls, with various chips and cracks and the ancient mortar falling away in chunks. Her feet, wrapped in rough linen rags, were submerged up to her ankles in water and unhealthy-looking green algae was growing on the surface of the flagstones. She could feel it squelching between her toes and that made her stomach turn. Syrise placed one hand over her mouth to keep the bile down and continued to look around. There was a bookshelf in one far corner with a few moldy books on the shelves, and there was a table about three feet away with an iron dagger and a few lockpicks scattered across its surface.

What really drew her attention though was what stood between the bookshelf and the table. It was a statue of Mara, goddess of love, life, and marriage, chiseled from a golden sandstone. Her face was upturned, towards the heavens, and her arms spread in praise to the divines. A small offering plate sat on a plinth before her. It was like a miniature version of the statue at the Temple of Mara in Riften.

That was a curious thought, though. Where was Riften? She didn’t know, but somehow, she knew there was a Temple of Mara there. A lightning bolt of pain rocketed through her mind as she tried to figure out the puzzle. Syrise’s hand moved from her mouth, and with both she grabbed onto the sides of her head, trying to fight away the pain.

Come my child,” a voice called out within her mind. It was like the voice heard in dreams; the dreams she’d had as a child where two competing voices had called out to her. Syrise jerked her eyes up and stared at the statue. It was the statue that spoke to her, or rather it was the divine the statue represented. Mara. She didn’t have proof of that, but what else could it be. But proof came quickly as bloody tears began to flow from the statue’s eyes. Syrise knew that blood. She’d seen it before, felt it flow through her fingers, but she didn’t know where or when it had. That had been… so long ago. Or maybe it had never been.

“Come my child,” the statue spoke again. “Choose the life you will live.”

Syrise found she was holding her breath as she listened to the statue speak. She forced herself to take a slow deep breath and, without knowing why, she walked across the small prison cell and reached out to touch the statue. As she did so a warmth spread over her. Starting with her fingertips, spreading up her hand, along her arm, then throughout all the nerves in her body. She felt lit by it, and that were someone to look in from the outside, Syrise felt she would be glowing like the sun itself. As bright as it had been in the moment Magnus, architect of the known universe, breached the veil between Mundus and Aetherius.

Images began to flicker through her mind. Images of different lives, different places. The owner of Proudspire Manor and soon to be Thane in the court of Jarl Elisif the Fair in Solitude. A landowner and homesteader at a steading known as Heljarchen Hall. A welp in poorly made iron armor walking into Jorrvaskr, the Mead Hall of the Companions. A shadowy door, skull faced with five daggers, slowing creeping open. It screamed an obscene familiarity to her, like something she’d seen an entire era ago and had long since forgotten. But, the one which drew her most was the image of a ship, lost in a blizzard blowing in the Sea of Ghosts. She knew this place, these images, this nightmare, and just like that Syrise Swiftblade was flung into the frigid waters of the Pilgrim’s Trench.

***

Syrise Swiftblade woke up from one nightmare right into another. The Cyrus’ Revenge’s contact with the iceberg bucked her out of her bunk and straight into the frigid waters that had begun to fill her quarters. She was second mate on the ship, a benefit which came with its own private quarters right near the bow of the ship. At the moment, it wasn’t much of a benefit, however, as the impact with the iceberg fractured and splintered the timbers holding back the waters of the Sea of Ghosts. Waters which were rushing in and deep enough for Syrise to get a nice lungful of salt water as she tried to cry out. Sputtering and coughing she pushed off the floor and clambered back up onto her bunk. With her head above water she blew everything she could out of her lungs and began to retch. This went on for a few terrible seconds, and for a moment the world began to blacked around her. Oblivion threatened to claim her, but… she’d been through worse.

With one hand and a thought she summoned a ball of light to her and turned back to the waters. The ship was canted now, and slowly sliding back into the depths. The impact must have shattered the keel of the ship, causing damage and breaches in the hull all across the ship. Water was likely pouring in from hundreds of little wounds, and the ship’s buoyancy was absolutely ruined. She dove into the water again and summoned an ice spell to her hand. Her preferred elements were either fire or shock, but one wouldn’t function at all underwater, and the other would cook her and every living thing around her for a mile. So, ice was the only option. In rapid succession she sent two bolts, long spear like projectiles, out from her palm. Both bolts crashed into the door. The first splintered the wood and sent some of its bindings flying. While the second completely smashed through and let a sudden surge of water into the small room.

Syrise summoned another spell to mind and hand. This time one among the Alteration school of magic. Reynos’ Fins it was called, and it allowed her greater speed and strength as she swam. She couldn’t keep it up for long as she dove down, deeper into the depths of the water and the sinking ship, but she was able to maintain it long enough to get her to the alchemy lab.

By the time she reached the room, though, her magicka reserves were running low, and she’d need time to replenish them. Time she didn’t have. In a stroke of luck, the door to the alchemy lab was open. She dove deep into the room. Many of the delicate glass bottles had shattered in the impact, and even now those concoctions were mixing together in the sea water to create Divine’s only know what kind of problems. She tried to avoid the cloud of glowing liquid and snatched a bottle filled with a compound which looked like molten silver.

Summoning Reynos’ Fins for the split second she could, she pushed back out of the room right as the glowing cloud of a multitude of volatile ingredients ignited into a ball of hellish alchemist fire.

She emerged from the water, at least her head did, in a small air pocket made by the hull and one corner of the interior walls. Syrise let out her breath in a gasp and sucked down a couple more, before pulling the bottle of silver liquid out. Her hands were beginning to tremble, and the liquid in the bottle began to slosh around. The tips of her fingers were going numb. The cold was getting to her. Too much longer and she’d freeze to death.

Thankfully, the alchemist’s fire burning in the other room was beginning to heat the water up almost as quickly as it was eating through the hull of the ship. Even that wouldn’t be safe for too long as the water would eventually come to a boil, and she had no intention of getting cooked in the ruins of her ship.

Syrise popped the cork on the bottle and pitched it back, swallowing the whole thing in one drink. The warmth of the potions magic spread through her, and after waiting a moment she was satisfied that she’d be able to breath underwater.

Diving back down into the water, Syrise moved with purpose, not towards the exit though. She had one more goal before she could leave, and to get to it she’d have to make her way to the captain’s quarters. There were a few items she needed to acquire, and since it was very likely the captain was dead (or soon would be), there wouldn’t be a soul who asked any questions about her new acquisitions.

***

“Thank you, ItsRainingNeon for your fifty-dollar donation,” StoutZulu said as he glanced over at the second monitor. He’d been playing for about a half hour at this point, with about twenty minutes of that being the character-building section, and he was about to reveal his biggest secret in playing Skyrim. “I love your cosplay, and yes, I’d definitely love to see you cosplay Syrise on your OnlyFans. That would literally make my life. But, let me get her gear on first. While it’d be awesome to see you in that sailor’s tunic, I’m sure the semi-custom gear I’ve got lined up for her will look much better…

“And, before any of you think that’s weird, it’s not like one of those daedric bikini things,” StoutZulu said, laughing at his own joke. “It’s a variant on the Crimson Archer armor, and there are no textural changes to it, just some custom enchantments I made.”

He stops for a moment and fetches a deep theatrical sig. “Now, I’ve got a confession to make to you guys—oh thanks for that two-hundred-dollar donation ESO! That’s absolutely awesome! I love your content man, and had no idea you watched Minecraft YouTubers—but, back on that confession. I’m sure you guys know I play Minecraft in creative mode almost exclusively, and when I do play survival mode, I’ve got cheats enabled… except for the Genesis SMP stuff. Well, my playstyle in games like Skyrim isn’t all that different. Give me access to the console or mods and I will abuse the…wait saying that might get the stream demonetized. Anyway, I abuse the crap out of this level of access to the game’s insides. Maybe one day I’ll do a stream or Let’s Play series from my ancient 360 where I’ll have to play the game legit, but at the moment I’m totally on PC and have access to all of that. That being said, I’ll tell you more about the items”—he stresses the word— “after I acquire them in game. I believe I’ve left Syrise hanging long enough.”

With that statement, StoutZulu hits the tab key and dives back into the world of Skyrim.

***

After a strange blank in her mind, Syrise kicks back into motion, literally, as she uses the motion of the kick to dive back under the water and push herself back out into the corridor. She closes on the point where the alchemist fire is raging, and the temperature of the water quickly becomes unbearable. With another short burst of Reynos’ Fins, she’s down the hall and back into the near freezing water. She cuts around a corner and up a flight of stairs.

Maybe thankfully, maybe not, the stairs lead her up out of the water, and on the side of things she wasn’t thankful for was the alchemist fire. One floor down she had to worry about it cooking her, up here…

Up here it was an inferno which had eaten through the ceiling of the lower floor and was now spilling out into the hallway with green flames licking up the sides of the walls, tasting the soft flesh boards and timbers, and liking it enough to feast. There was also the issue of the smoke rising form the flames in what would no doubt soon be a great black column visible from the Shrine of Azura. With the potion still coursing through her veins breathing underwater was no problem. Such a potion didn’t exist for smoke, and if it did, she had no way of acquiring it in the amount of time she had remaining on the ship.

There was no going back down to the lower deck and finding another way around the flames. The way the ship was constructed the only flight of stairs connecting these decks was behind her. That wasn’t the case with the next deck down and the cargo hold, a flight of stairs at each end of the ship resoled that issue. For a second or so, she considered giving it time and letting the ship drop further beneath the waves, but… this was alchemist fire.

The flames hardly cared if they were wet or not, and just because the ship dropped into the deep, they would burn until they’d had all the food they could devour.

Syrsie took a deep breath and mentally braced herself for what she was about to do. Some small portion of time had passed, not enough to fully restore her reserves, but probably enough to get her through the flames. She summoned the spell to each hand and felt it’s chill bite deep into her bones. She took a second deep breath, regretted it instantly, as the thick smoke tried to wheedle its way in, then summoned all her magical might and dropped the frost cloak around her. With zero hesitation, she switched spells, going from the frost cloak to another Alteration spell. This one called Longstride, the land bound version of Reynos’ Fins. As soon as the spell was at hand, she gave what reserves remained and took off at a sprint.

Reaching the flames, she saw the gaping maw to the floor below, and the shattered, blackened, and blasted timbers which had created an impromptu pit trap in her way. At the last possible second, as she felt the boards give way beneath her feet, she leapt, and sailed through fire and flame. Longstride did nothing without her feet on the ground, but her momentum carried her across the pit.

She hung in the air for a heartbeat, and questioned if she’d ever have another, then hit the opposite side. Her ankle twisted on impact, and with Longstride still engaged, she pitched forward with the speed of a horse at full gallop. Her magicka reserves burned out, dismissing the spell without having to put any thought into it, and centuries of traversing the verdant forests of Valenwood had taught her how to take a fall. On instinct alone, she pulled her shoulder and neck in as she curved her back. Her shoulder made contact first, as she intended, and she was able to use the inward curve as she curled into a ball to guide her. Knowing her ankle wouldn’t support the sudden impact and kip up onto her feet, she instead chose to drive her momentum to a total stop. She slammed her good foot, and the hand opposite the should she impacted with, onto the wooden flooring with all the strength she could muster and gave a ki-aih cry to drive the extra air from her lungs.

She stopped dead.

Two heartbeats passed, which was all the time she had, and was up and moving down the corridor before the flames had a chance to claim her. It took every ounce of her willpower to make her ankle work the way she needed it too. She knew she’d pay for it with greater pain later, but she didn’t have the time for faulty body parts at the moment.

With one hand she reached out and grabbed hold of the wall, thankfully the floor here was slick with old wax and the water rising from below froze beneath her frost cloak, and she was able to twist herself into a spin and bound up the steps without any lost momentum.

A blink and she was at the top, facing the door right into the captain’s room. Not a thought was given to whether the door was locked or not. If it was, she was the key. She tucked her shoulder again, angling herself just right, and fired Longstride for the tenth-of-a-second she could manage. The door, even with its thick planks and iron banding, was no barrier to her. She burst through, sending splinters and wooden shrapnel flying. At the same instant she dropped into a roll and diverted her momentum once more, coming to a sliding stop right before the captain’s desk.

Low and behold who she should find there as well. The captain, dressed in his fine clothes, meant for a noble’s court, with his tricorn perched upon his brow, and his body bent over a chest easily as big as his desk. One filled with an emperor’s ransom worth of loot.

The captain looked back at her, his face paling as he did. “This isn’t what it looks like.”

***

“Oh damn! Holy fucking hell!” StoutZulu cried out, completely forgetting about possible demonetization. “There’s only a three percent chance of the captain being here when you come to claim the loot. By the Divines, we’ve got a boss battle on our hands.”

His excitement was at its peak, but as a streamer there were still things he needed to do, and at that exact moment a donation chime came, and the Ender Dragon flew across the corner of his screen. A passing thought dashed through his mind, like he should replace the Ender Dragon with Alduin, at least for his Elder Scrolls streams.

“Hey Azura, thanks so much for the fifty-dollar donation. If you didn’t catch it, she said: ‘you better beat that pirate captain’s ass!” StoutZulu grins. “Since you commanded it, my lady of the dusk and dawn, I will beat this pirate trash in your name. Or ‘forgive me Azura’ will be spoken with my final breath.”

StoutZulu hits tab and goes back into the game, ready to kick the shit out of whoever was in Syrise’s way.

***

“Bullshit,” Syrise said as she stared at the older man. She had no magicka, no armor, and was armed with only an iron dagger. Her frost cloak had run out as she made the turn and charge up the steps. With what was in the chest this would be an unwinnable fight. If he was given time to take any of its goods.

She considered her hypocrisy for a split second, as she’d come here to do the exact same thing. Maybe… Maybe that could give her the edge though, if she played her cards just right.

Then there was the alchemist’s fire to consider. It would be working its way up to them, and the longer this took, the less time she had to escape. The smoke was already beginning to worm its way up the staircase.

If ever there was a time, she was glad she was good at Three Dragon Ante, this was it. It was time to play her bluff.

“Those artifacts are meant for the museum in Solitude,” she said, her voice cold and calculating. “Just how much coin were you offered to steal them?”

The captain smiled as he dropped his hand to the chest, his eyes took on a sparkle as he looked down at them. It was then Syrise realized she had another card in play. One the captain knew nothing about. After all, none of the windows in the captain’s quarters looked out onto the foredeck. Only out the back of the ship. He knew nothing of the blaze eating the vessel from the inside out.

“A fortune,” he said after a moment. “More than you could ever imagine. More than you would ever get from the pockets of a museum curator.”

“I don’t know,” Syrise said, beginning her calculated moves. She began a slow orbit around the desk, walking along the opposite side from where the captain stood. “I can imagine quite a lot.”

The captain’s lips twitched, starting a smile, but the expression was so fast only someone who knew to look for it would ever see it. A tell, one she’d learned from years of sitting across a card table from this man.

“Can you imagine enough to buy a lordship in High Rock? A kingdom and a hill all to yourself?”

Syrise let out a low whistle.

“That’s quite a lot of coin.” Her eyes flicked to the shattered door and back, to fast for a human’s eyes to see. She had to judge how long she had before the flames were at the foot of the stairs. Her orbit had her behind the desk now. She reached out and touched the richly upholstered high-backed chair. She’d always imagined he thought of it as a throne. Now the thought was all but confirmed.

Now, she was within about five feet of the captain, almost able to reach out and touch him. It appeared no thought of danger, or betrayal, had crossed his mind. He hadn’t gone for any of the artifacts yet.

“A kingdom, eh?” she continued. “I was going to ask if it was worth the destruction of your ship. Now…” she paused theatrically. “Now, I see it is.”

“We could share it,” he said, just as she knew he would, and a lecherous grin spread across his face. He was within arm’s reach now and hadn’t noticed her arm snaking around behind her back. Nor had he heard the silent whisper of steel as it drew free of its leather sheath.

“Afterall, every king needs a queen,” the captain finished.

Syrise reached out with her free hand to touch him and caressed his face. “Is that a proposal?” she asked, then sealed the deal. “My king?”

The smile spreading across his face was genuine, and he knew nothing. Not until the dagger pierced his fine clothes and split through his flesh deep enough to find a kidney. The captain gasped and jerked forward, curling in on himself to try and protect his vitals too late.

“I’m sorry,” Syrise said with a pout. She kicked out and drove the captain back. He slammed into a bookcase, jerked forward again, and fumbled for his cutlass. In that instant, Syrise was on him. One hand grabbing his collar and drawing him close, the other on his shoulder, preparing.

“You’re not wearing an amulet of Mara,” Syrise said. Tightening her grip on his shoulder, she released his collar and spun him towards the door. Another kick and he was out it with no time to catch his feet before tumbling down the steps. Tumbling right down into the waiting flames, which consumed him in a howl of rage. He barely had time to scream.

“And, I’m not the type to share,” Syrise said to the burning corpse.

All time was up though, and she spun on her heel, right back to the chest of artifacts. Conveniently enough the captain had bundled them all into a decent sized satchel. She knew it was an Endless Bag, called a Bag of Holding in some worlds, and all she had to do was grab the straps as she ran for the windows. She had a single moments worth of an epiphany and explanation. A realization, of sorts, that blind luck had saved her life, and she thanked Nocturnal for it. The reason the captain hadn’t gone for a weapon and run her through was because of the Endless Bag. He couldn’t have gotten to them in time. Syrsie Swiftblade smiled as she threw herself through the window and into the icy waters waiting for her.

As she swam to shore, she thought of just how happy she was the captain sucked at Three Dragon Ante.

***

“Well folks,” StoutZulu said as he hit the tab button and brought up the SkyUI menu. “I believe we’ll call the stream here. I just want to share the goods with you before I go. Yes, they are cheatie items from a mod I made myself, but they’re not like super cheatie items. There will still be quite a few challenging bits to the game. I just super hate dying over and over, it’s sooo frustrating and no fun. I don’t know about you, but I play games to have fun, not be frustrated. I get enough of that IRL.”

He sits back in his chair and takes a drink of tea before continuing.

“First up, we’ve got the Endless Bag, and this is easily the most cheatie item out of the bunch. The Endless Bag fortifies your carry weight by 100,000 points. I pick up absolutely everything, so this is a bit of a necessity. And, with Convenient Horses installed, I’ve got a compatibility patch which adds the bags benefit to the horse as well. So, none of those irritating as crap ‘You are over-encumbered’ messages.

“Second, I came up with a theme for this part,” he clicks over to the weapons icon on the UI and clicks down onto the first item listed. It’s an Ebony Scimitar with a red-orange flame animation running up and down the length of the blade. “This is Blazinglife,” StoutZulu says. “It’s kind of an inverse on one of the weapons used by Drizzt Do’Urden in those Forgotten Realms books by R.A. Salvatore. That sword, also a scimitar, is named Icingdeath and bears a frost enchantment adding frost damage and a minor amount of resistance to frost attacks.

Blazinglife here, like I said, is the inverse. Its base attack value is the same as the base Ebony Scimitar from the Immersive Weapons mod plus half. So, it’s 35 points of damage, namely because I didn’t want to use decimal points. Critical is 15 points with a 1.2 multiplier. It’s got an attack speed of 1.35 on it and I didn’t mess with the reach. It also does an additional 30 points of fire damage and has a 60 second soul trap enchantment. The real big problem with it was getting the resist effect. I’m not going to go into how to do that here, but it adds 30 points of fire resistance.

“The fun doesn’t stop there as we’ve also got Sparkle. Sparkle is based off Icingdeath’s twin, Twinkle. Twinkle adds a defense value to the player character’s armor class. After fighting with and figuring out the Fire Resistance on Blazinglife, Sparkle’s effect was easy to come by. I added a buff of 30 points to Heavy Armor, Light Armor, and Block. Sparkle’s base stats are the same as Blazinglife, and the only actual attack enchantment is another 60 second soul trap. I’ve not figured out how to add a blue glow to the blade yet, as that’s a texture change, and I don’t know how to do those.

“Then there’s Tauriel, my version of Taulmaril, and this one is pretty cheatie too, but if you’ve read the Drizzt books you know Tualmaril is basically a one hit kill. I used the dragonsteel bow as the base and set its base damage to 100. Its critical is 25 and a 3 times multiplier. Its also got a shock enchantment which does another 100 points of damage. The attack speed is 1.5. The real kicker here, however, is the arrows. I wanted to figure out how to make the bow use bound arrows, as in the books Taulmaril creates its own arrows, but I’m not that good at modding. I’m sure I could figure it out given enough time and Google, but I had such a migraine while I was working on it, I said screw it. So, I went with dragonbone arrows instead. I left the base damage the same but gave them an enchantment that causes 500 points of shock damage. Like I said, Taulmaril, and thus Tauriel, is basically a 1 hit kill. Like her scimitar cousins, Tauriel’s also got a 60 second soul trap enchantment.

“With the original stash of weapons, I added 9,999 arrows that I renamed to Tauriel’s Lightning. To give it the basically endless arrow effect, I set up three barrels, one in Whiterun, one in Solitude, and one in Windhelm. Each barrel has 9,999 arrows and the barrel respawns every three days. Not that I think you’d ever run out of the original set of arrows, but I figured having the respawning containers is the closest I could come to a literally endless supply without being able to use the bound arrows.”

He pauses again, takes another drink of tea, and it’s possible to hear him light a cigarette. He takes a deep drag off it and lets it out before he continues.

“Oh, thank you Sloan for that ten-dollar donation. You guys have been really awesome today.” He smiles, though without a face cam it’s impossible to see. “Now, like I said when ItsRainingNeon donated I used the Crimson Archer Armor set for the armor. I set the stats on each piece equivalent to Daedric Armor, and I left it as light armor. The cuirass boasts a health boost by 100 points and ups health regen by 50 points. The boots add 100 points of stamina, increases stamina regen by 50 points, adds 30 points of muffle, and 30 points to the sneak skill. The gloves add 30 points to lockpicking, pickpocketing, and archery, as well as adding the Tower Stone perk from the Andromeda-Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim mod, which allows you to open one lock a day. I don’t remember the other effect off the top of my head. Now, with the Crimson Archer Armor, it doesn’t come with a helm, so I took one of the hoods from either the Winter is Coming mod or Cloaks of Skyrim mod… or maybe it was Wet and Cold, I’m not sure. It’s the same one that adds backpacks. The only thing I did with the hood, though, is change it to light armor and set its armor rating equal to the Daedric Helm. Then there’s a circlet from the Immersive Jewelry mod, can’t remember which right now, but it adds 100 points of magicka, and 50 points of magicka regen. It also adds 25 points to the Illusion, Destruction, and Alteration skills, and I’ve given it a constant Night Eye, Detect Life, and Detect Undead enchantment. So, yeah, the circlet is almost as cheatie as Tauriel and the Endless Bag.

“The name for this overall project is The Artifacts of Tzzrid Od’Nedru, and I’m thinking it’s not entirely finished yet. There are still a lot of magic items from the books I’ve not included. Regis’ amulet for speechcraft is definitely on the list of this to add. As is, Wulfgar’s Aegis Fang. But that’s all I’ve got for now. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing it on the Nexus.”

On the screen StoutZulu backs out of the UI, then hits the escape key to pull up the save game menu.

“Anyway, cats and kids, I hope you enjoyed. Thank you all so much for coming and all of the donations. Check out the mods list in the description below and while you’re there give that “Like” button a kill cam shot. If you liked my Skyrim content and are excited to see more, or you’re just a major Minecraft nerd and enjoy that content as well, stealth assassinate the “Subscribe” button and don’t be like the guy in the song and forget to shoot the deputy… err… the bell as well. Let me know what you think in the comments, what sort of hi-jinks you want to see Syrise get up too, and I will see you again in the next video.”

The screen in the YouTube video window goes blank, and the algorithm behind the website fills the window with related video recommendations.

—-

Hey Everybody,

RSK here. I hope you like this, it’s my first ever attempt at a LitRPG style story and I’ve always wanted to do a Skyrim Let’s Play but I’m not the type of person who’s good at making videos. This is my way of trying to get that type of content to work for me.

Check out my website kinsgrove.wordpress.com for a list of social media links and a list of the mods included in the story. Most of the mods mentioned are real mods and are available for download on the Skyrim SE Nexus, though they may not exactly the way they are IRL.

While you’re there, also consider signing up for my mailing list. In the next month or so I plan on having a free download available for subscribers, and of course you’ll get content updates on all of my works-in-progress and currently available content including updates on this badass Let’s Write story.

Let me know what you think in the comments down below, and I hope to see you again next week with Chapter Two: Thane of Winterhold?

RSK

Outlining a Series With the Snowflake Method: Step 2 One Paragraph Storyline- Original Example

Step 1: One Sentence Storyline|
Step 1-1/2: What Type of Series?
Step 2: One Paragraph Storyline- Exposition
Step 2: One Paragraph Storyline- In Practice

 

Now, we’ve finally come to the part of step 2 where we’re going to talk about how to build the One Paragraph Storyline from scratch. This one will also come with a Project Journal post because we’ll be brainstorming the overarching plot for the entirety of our series. So, just like with the Harry Potter example, The Dragon God’s Canticles is going to be a seven-book series, meaning it will be constructed with my slightly modified version of the snowflake method. This means that instead of three disasters and an ending, we’re going to have six disasters and an ending. We must also keep in mind that these disasters are going to be the basis for what we turn into the one sentence storylines for the next-ish step. So, let’s get started.

The Dragon God’s Canticles

One Sentence Storyline:

An unlikely team of heroes are gathered together to prevent the darkness of the demonic dragon god from spreading across the land.

Sounds like the tagline for the next Power Rangers TV show…

Anyway, aside from that, now is the point in time where I need to open up a new document and get to work on the disasters.

Note to self: It is also very important to remember that these disasters will be the climactic moments of the books, not the end of the book.

(And, now practically a week later I get to go back to working on this post.)

So, by the time this post goes up I’m sure you’ll have noticed the project journal for The Dragon God’s Canticles has gone up, and I have finally caught up on my homework, so I am now able to return to my attempt to entertain and enlighten.

The process of coming up with these disasters, is basically sitting down and thinking of the whole story as one work, then going slightly forward with that work. I tried to make the disasters as character based as I could, rather than specifically plot based, but when I’ve got so little information on my characters, as of right now, there’s not much to hinge on that. Particularly, I like the turn of Trizog from villain to returned paragon paladin king. It will certainly make for an interesting turn of events when the story reaches that point.

(Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this or not, but the genre and category I planned on placing this series in is YA Epic Fantasy.)

And, on with the disasters:

  1. Evelyn is captured during the final battle against the great blue dragon and is whisked away to Fiend-Fire Citadel by Trizog of Balfor.
  2. The cult of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro reveals that it is involved in Balfor’s war in a big way.
  3. Trizog reveals to Azariel and Evelyn that he is actually Tristram LaFeya, the lost king of Bertran.
  4. As though it were a miracle, King Tristram LaFeya and the knights he fought alongside are able to free themselves in the final battle of Balfor’s War, and with the apparent death of Trizog of Balfor they return Tristram to his throne.
  5. The kingdom of Bertran explodes into a civil war, as Tristram LaFeya and Richard LaFeya battle against one another to see who truly has the right to the throne.
  6. The Ligdo Drakko Nekro is out in the fields as the men are dying. It is resurrecting them and building an army with which to blot out the sun, it plans on using Richard LaFeya as its host body.
  7. The portal to the abyss is open, and dracodemons are pouring out of it like water from a cleft rock. Desperate and out of options, Evelyn and Azariel lead a strike team back to Fiend-Fire Strand to find some way to end this conflict once and for all.

 

And, now we can finally put together that One Paragraph Storyline:

An unlikely team of heroes are gathered together to prevent the darkness of the demonic dragon god from spreading across the land. Evelyn is captured during the final battle against the great blue dragon and is whisked away to Fiend-Fire Citadel by Trizog of Balfor. The cult of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro reveals that it is involved in Balfor’s war in a big way. Trizog reveals to Azariel and Evelyn that he is actually Tristram LaFeya, the lost king of Bertran. As though it were a miracle, King Tristram LaFeya and the knights he fought alongside are able to free themselves in the final battle of Balfor’s War, and with the apparent death of Trizog of Balfor they return Tristram to his throne. The kingdom of Bertran explodes into a civil war, as Tristram LaFeya and Richard LaFeya battle against one another to see who truly has the right to the throne. The Ligdo Drakko Nekro is out in the fields as the men are dying. It is resurrecting them and building an army with which to blot out the sun, it plans on using Richard LaFeya as its host body. The portal to the abyss is open, and dracodemons are pouring out of it like water from a cleft rock. Desperate and out of options, Evelyn and Azariel lead a strike team back to Fiend-Fire Strand to find some way to end this conflict once and for all.

Yes, that paragraph is literally the disasters and one sentence storyline copy and pasted together. I do think I’ll try to tidy things up a bit. Maybe not so tidy as they’ll get when I turn the disasters into One Sentence Storylines, but I don’t really intend on doing that here. Anyway…

“Cleaner” One Paragraph Storyline:

An unlikely team of heroes from all walks are gathered together to prevent the darkness of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro from spreading across the land. Crown Princess Evelyn LaFeya is taken captive at the battle for the Solarian Tower and whisked away to the forbidden fortress of Fiend-Fire Citadel by the vile Trizog of Balfor. Trapped in the heart of Balfor, the princess finds a way to escape her captivity in time to learn of Trizog’s true reason for starting this war. Trizog holds a hidden hand though, one he reveals to Evelyn and Azariel; Trizog is really Tristram LaFeya, the lost king of Bertran and Evelyn’s father. Bertran’s war with Balfor comes to its climax with the apparent death of Trizog of Balfor and the escape of Tristram LaFeya and the knights who went missing with him nearly twenty years ago. Tristram returned from the dead means Richard’s claim to the throne has been invalidated, rather than surrendering to his brother, Richard and the Ligdo Drakko Nekro plunge Bertran into a civil war. Richard perishes in his quest for the crown, but his role in the grand play has yet to reach its end, the Ligdo Drakko Nekro intends to use his corpse as a host and lead an army of darkness greater than anything ever seen under the sun. With the portal open to the dracodemon’s hell dimension, the Ligdo Drakko Nekro is well on his way to eliminating all life, only Azariel, Evelyn, and company are left to stand in the way of the deranged god …and, they live happily ever after… (couldn’t resist).

Ryan S. Kinsgrove

RSK

Follow along with my peculiar brand of insanity:https://upscri.be/5a20f7/

The Dragon God’s Canticles Project Journal: Disasters

WARNING: THERE IS MATERIAL HERE THAT COULD POTENTIALLY SPOIL THE STORY ONCE IT’S WRITTEN. THAT BEING SAID: SPOILER WARNING

So, it’s time to sit down and think about disasters, and the overarching plot I want to have going on in The Dragon God’s Canticles series. Right now all I have is the first book ending with Evelyn’s capture. Book four (skipping there for some reason) is going to be one be of the major turning points of the story. Like the goblet of fire it will have Azog coming into his power wholly. By that I mean he’ll be taking the throne of Bertran. It’ll be revealed in the third or early in the fourth book, that Azog is actually a corrupted human paladin named Tristram LaFeya and the true king of Bertran. He is Evelyn’s father and is the oldest of the LaFeya sons and the first to be anointed a paladin of Sol. I think that might be part of the revelation in book 3. Yes, the disaster to book three will be the revelation that Azog of Balfor is really Tristram LaFeya the true king of the kingdom of Bertran. Book four’s disaster will be Azog dethroning Richard LaFeya. His little brother. Okay, so I’ve got the disaster for books 1, 3, and 4. But not 2. You’d think I’d need to come up with book 2 before I do 3 and 4. Eh, whatever works.

 

I’m also still short the disasters for books 5 and 6 and the ending in the form of book 7.

 

Alright, so I’ve got some of my disasters figured out thus far. The first disaster is going to be Evelyn being captured by the dragon at the Battle of the Solarian Tower. The third disaster is going to be that Azog of Balfor is revealed to really be the corrupted form of Tristram LaFeya, the true king of Bertran. The fourth disaster is Tristram reclaiming his throne from his younger brother, Richard LaFeya. Maybe I should shift that though and have those be the disasters for books one-three. That way the second one is Azog being revealed as Tristram. And, this revelation doesn’t mean to the people at large, only the small group of heroes who come to save Evelyn. Maybe it will solely be a revelation to Evelyn. Or one to Evelyn and Azariel. I’m not sure where those thoughts are going.

 

Anyway, essentially what I want to do with that is kind of transition it so that Azog isn’t a total villain by the time he takes the throne back from Richard. Over the course of the first three books I want Richard to very much become as bad, if not worse than Azog, that way having Tristram reclaim the throne in the fourth book seems like the best thing to have happen.

 

At that point, I will also begin introducing the full final villain of the series. This villain will be set up in the first four books but won’t be a direct participant. It will be acting through its intermediary, Azog. The villain is going to be the Ligdo Drakko Nekro, the Little Dead Dragon, or the Dragon God of Death. Something is going to happen, during either the second or third book where Azog is going to decide to betray the Ligdo Drakko Nekro. I think Evelyn is going to be able to break through to his human heart during her stay in the Fiend-fire Citadel.

 

Anyway, Azog/Tristram is going to be playing both sides of the field for the middle three books, only revealing his true allegiance at the beginning of the seventh book, just before he dies. Azog is going to be playing both sides after the third book. I’m trying to work out how things will play out with the new villain. Azog is going to be a paragon character archetype. His particular brand of good is going to be open for interpretation though. Which isn’t really pertinent to the disasters, but… I dunno.

 

I’ve still only got books 1-3 set up. Though I still kind of like the idea of it being Book 1s disaster, skip 2, then have three and four. Four is sort of a pivotal point in the story as everybody will be looking to what happens in the next book. This still isn’t helping me get a disaster for book 2.

 

So, if I want it do that Evelyn is still being held by Azog in book 3, what can happen in book 2 that will get them closer to rescuing her. I don’t want her to stay damselled for two books. In book two she escapes, the group gets back together, and they’re in Balfor for the reveal in book 3, for whatever reason. So, what happens in book 2? Okay, Evelyn is going to escape the Fiend-fire Citadel on Fiend-fire Strand and come across the remains of a dracodemon nest unlike any other. This is the part where I’ll start building the Ligdo Drakko Nekro because the nest will hold trace amounts of the little dead dragon’s magic and influence. The influence of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro can be felt through the dracodemon hordes, and one flight of the dracodemons have been tainted by the little dead dragon and are wholly under his command. This flight takes off, away from Balfor and heads to attack Justifal. Okay, all of this boils down to the Ligdo Drakko Nekro revealing his involvement in the game at large. 1 Evelyn is kidnapped. 2 The Cult of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro reveals its involvement in Balfor’s war. 3 Azog of Balfor reveals himself as Tristram LaFeya, the rightful king of Bertran. 4 Azog/Tristram returns to Justifal to reclaim his throne.

 

 

Alright, so Pacifica’s being a pain in the ass, and I can’t get the journal section open. Eh, most of what I would have written there would end up over here anyway. The only thing that wouldn’t make it is the ooey gooey feel good shit. Because, yes, there is actually plenty of that. If I keep meditating like this I might actually become a happier person. I’m trying to watch for changes, and I’ve seen some, sure, but not the ones I’m looking for. Still, some change is better than none. It doesn’t help that the changes I’m looking for wont start cropping up until after I’ve found a way to make money off of the good feelings. And, really, to do that I need to keep my shit together as it is, and just keep swimming I guess. Anyway, that’s enough of that here. It’s time to move on to actually thinking about my disasters again. I’ve got 1-4 done now. Now it’s time for 5, 6 & 7. Well, 2 more disasters and an ending.

 

Tristram plans to execute Richard, but Evelyn slips into the dungeons and lets Richard go. She knows he’ll go round up an army to try and retake his throne, but she can’t bring herself to let Tristram kill him. So, the disaster for book 5. King Richard returns with an army backing him, intending on dethroning Tristram and executing the returned king. In the midst of the fighting the Ligdo Drakko Nekro makes its presence known by beginning to resurrect the fallen soldiers. The book does end with King Richards death, and subsequent resurrection at the hands of the little dead dragon.

 

Book 6, with the matter of the kingship handled things settle down for Bertran. They continue to get used to their new old king, but the spirits of the dracodemons slain at the conclusion of Azog’s war aren’t resting. The Ligdo Drakko Nekro and his new field commander go and awaken the remains of Azog’s army.

 

Book 7, the Ligdo Drakko Nekro has awoken the largest army of dracodemons ever to walk on the surface of AllHaven, and he opens a portal straight to the plane of hell the dracodemons are spawned on. Justifal is attacked en masse by the dracodemon army and within hours most of the city is engulfed in demonic fire. Tristram gives his life to save Evelyn’s, proving finally that he is wholly on their side. Azariel and Evelyn then make the most dangerous decision of all. They’re going to have to lead a small strike team into the heart of Balfor to close the portal and put an end to the dracodemon threat once and for all.

 

Now, as a way of specifically spelling the disasters and ending out:

 

  1. Evelyn is captured during the final battle against the great blue dragon and is whisked away to Fiend-Fire Citadel by Azog of Balfor.
  2. The cult of the Ligdo Drakko Nekro reveals that it is involved in Balfor’s war in a big way.
  3. Azog reveals to Azariel and Evelyn that he is actually Tristram LaFeya, the lost king of Bertran.
  4. As though it were a miracle, King Tristram LaFeya and the knights he fought alongside are able to free themselves in the final battle of Balfor’s War, and with the apparent death of Azog of Balfor they return Tristram to his throne.
  5. The kingdom of Bertran explodes into a civil war, as Tristram LaFeya and Richard LaFeya battle against one another to see who truly has the right to the throne.
  6. The Ligdo Drakko Nekro is out in the fields as the men are dying. It is resurrecting them and building an army with which to blot out the sun, it plans on using Richard LaFeya as its host body.
  7. The portal to the abyss is open, and dracodemons are pouring out of it like water from a cleft rock. Desperate and out of options, Evelyn and Azariel lead a strike team back to Fiend-Fire Strand to find some way to end this conflict once and for all.

I probably need to come up with another name for Azog. I really really like Azog, but I just realized it’s right in the story with Azariel, and that might get very confusing for the readers. Azog’s real name is Tristram… so, why not Trizog. I’m cool with it. Save Azog for some other character later on. And, I almost ran into that same issue with Terbor, but I’m going to shorten Terbor to Borb. Why? Because Bob didn’t go by Robert.

 

Anyway, this segment is completed. Now I can write the last-ish blog post in step two. Although what I’ll do is put them together in the One paragraph storyline and worry about distilling them down to one sentence storylines when it comes to the multi-paragraph/page synopsis for the series as a whole.

ONE BREATH

 

By RYAN S. KINSGROVE

Erzaren Eilhana stepped out from the shadows of a broom closet and faced the approaching man.

“Tell me,” Erzaren said. “What’s it like to die?”

He didn’t give the man time to answer. No, his silver dagger was already in hand, its blade cutting through the man’s neck like butter. The man began to gurgle a reply, but stopped when Erzaren drove the silver blade through his heart.

Instead of letting the man fall, Erzaren grabbed his lapels and gently lowered him. The white lace shirt was ruined with crimson stains, but there was time to save the justacorps, an elaborately embroidered thigh length jacket, and the waistcoat. Erzaren stripped the man of both, trying not to wrinkle them. He took his cloak off. He would need to hurry.

The dead man was Jezzrin Lanford, and though he died by Erzaren’s hand he wasn’t the assassins primary target. Jezzrin was an unwitting pawn in Emperor Kalmar Chavelled III’s game. A piece of evidence to cast doubt on the Eakranait Dynasty in a bid to start a war.

Erzaren was out of his comfort zone on this one. Under normal circumstances, Erzaren would avoid the business of lords as if it were the plague. His normal fair was merchants, slavers, crime cartels, and the occasional woman scorned. The money wasn’t as good as the business between lords, and when it came to the women scorned, payment rarely included money. Sticking to small time was an intelligent decision. If he were caught he might spend a little time in the dungeons, and the likelihood of the gallows was nil. Still, the rings for this job were far too good to pass up.

Erzaren used his cloak to wrap up Jezzrin’s body, then deposited the man inside the broom closet. The cloak was embroidered with the Eakranait Dynasty’s emblem. The cloak quickly took to soaking up as much blood as it could, like a cloth vampire. Erzaren looked down at the man and shook his head. The plot was very well thought out, planned by the emperor himself. He wanted to expand his territory and needed a reason to stick his nose in the business of other nations.

He closed the door, almost. As part of his specific instructions he’d been told to leave the door slightly ajar. The issue resolved, he bent down and grabbed the waistcoat and the justacorps. A long bench, with a blood red cushion, set against a wall opposite a large window. Erzaren laid the garments on the bench and saw to his other needs. He pulled a wizard’s bottomless bag out of one boot and unrolled it. He removed his sword belt and slipped it down into the bag. The bags dimensions didn’t change. Out of the bag he pulled three dusty black spheres, and two black makeup cases. He hung the spheres along his belt and set the makeup cases on the bench beside the coat and vest. With deft hands he tied the bag on the opposite hip. A little finagling later and he was able to get it, so the hilt of his sword poked out of the bag.

Another small movement and he adjusted the straps on his gauntlet, checking how hard it would be to reach the trio of throwing daggers tucked into it. He wiped his silver dagger clean on the bench’s cushion, then replaced it in his boot sheath.

Erzaren checked his reflection in the window, his features were angular with hard planes along his jaw and chin. His eyes were a feral ice blue with flecks of silver in them. The most defining trait was the long angry red scar that ran from nostril to ear on the left side of his face.

The double doors at the end of the hall cracked open, and through the corner of his eye Erzaren could see a servant girl stepping out into the hallway. Normally, this would bring a cry of alarm drawing the attention of all the guards in the castle to Erzaren’s location. Not this time though. No, this servant girl, dressed from head to toe in a black burqa, was a part of Erzaren’s backup plan.

He picked up the makeup cases, popped the foundation open, and began to spread it over the length of his scar. For good measure, he covered the rest of his face as well. Then he applied the powder, and now—minus the elven ears—he looked closely enough to Jezzrin that he should pass for the manservant long enough to reach the ambassador.

As the last part of his preparations he picked up the waistcoat and buttoned it on and pulled the justacorps to rest on his shoulders. There was a belt to buckle around it. It would be difficult to reach the tools of his trade, but… he had specific instructions. Looking back at his reflection he tried to cover his ears, but gave up quickly. Time was wasting. He ran his hands over his midsection and tugged at the justacorps, trying to make sure everything looked smooth and proper.

Air caught in his throat. What was he doing here? The thought had been poised on the edge of his mind since before he left home this morning.

One thousand platinum rings, that was the price on the ambassador’s head. It was more money than some kingdoms saw in an entire year. It meant one thing, and one thing only: he was walking into a trap.

Why then, was he standing in this hallway?

His feet started moving—he followed, allowing the need to take over.

There was one reason, and one reason only that saw him walking towards the double doors at the far end.

The emperor had given him specific instructions but not quite as specific as they should have been.

After all, what better piece of evidence would there be than the assassin caught and killed in the attack? After he’d killed the ambassador of course. The emperor wouldn’t want him left alive, couldn’t have him spilling the dirty little secret about who it was that hired him.

Still his legs moved. Propelling him forward. On towards almost certain death. The keyword being almost. Erzaren was the best, and the best never go anywhere without a backup plan.

He stopped moving as he came up beside the girl. Her silver eyes stared through the tiny slit in the face of the body covering garment. “Why are you going through with this?” L’erissa asked.

“How many?” Erzaren asked, ignoring her question.

“Six hundred all told,” L’erissa said. “The very cream of the elite crop. If they’re not related to the crown in some way, then they’re party crashers. There are at least a hundred servants, and thirty guards, armed to the teeth.”

“How many of us?”

“Ten,” L’erissa said. “Counting yourself.”

“Good.”

“Hardly,” L’erissa said in a condescending tone. “We’re not equipped to handle an operation like this.”

Erzaren couldn’t help but smile at the comment. His white teeth glinted in the light and he almost began to laugh. “That’s what makes this exciting.”

“Why?” L’erissa asked again. “You’re not dumb enough to walk in there for the rings alone. You’ve no love for king and country. What sort of rational explanation can you give for this?”

Erzaren’s smile faded. He stood up a little straighter, rolling his shoulders to get them in just the right position. He could feel it then. The calm before the storm that overcame him whenever he was about to do a job. “Go back inside. Wait for the signal.”

“You’re a damn fool, Erzaren Eilhana,” L’erissa said. “I don’t know why I give you the time of day.” She shook her head and swept back through the double doors. Erzaren let them swing closed, cutting him off from everything. He needed a minute. The feeling built, and built. Soon it would spill over.

He inhaled, filling his lungs to capacity.

For one breath he would have power over life and death. With a single motion he could change the fate of entire nations. Nay, his actions could change the entire course of history.

Erzaren reached out, touching the handle. He twisted it, slowly, feeling every tick of movement. The end was approaching. The beginning of something new. The door began to open. Music worked its way through the crack. The scent of roasted ham assaulted his nose.

There was one reason he was walking willingly into a trap.

One reason.

For one breath. One. Single. Breath. He would be a god.

Erzaren exhaled.

 

RSK

Follow along with my peculiar brand of insanity:https://upscri.be/5a20f7/

Featured Image Credit: Sepirgo