Skyrim RP series...Danifae (Chapter 9) Seeking sanctuary

  • Having searched Fort Amol as much as they could, the four friends had only been able to find some books, septims and healing and magicka potions in the lower levels. More disturbingly, they had found several prisoners locked in the cells down there, all dead. It looked like they were going to be used in sort of necromantic ritual. It reminded Danifae of her own imprisonment, but the bodies hadn't been cut or mutilated. They decided to carry the bodies outside and bury them as best they could and Danifae said a few prayers to Arkay. They also did the same with the Stormcloak soldiers in the courtyard.

     

    The dead necromancers they decided to hang from the walls and put their heads on spikes, as a warning to passing travellers and to any undesirables who may have wanted to take over the fort again. If they passed a Stormcloak patrol on the way they would tell them what happened in there.

     

    The books were nothing more than jottings on experiments and necromantic rituals so they burned them. Then they decided to set out once more. They had all recovered somewhat from their ordeal and Danifae had decided to head towards Eldergleam Sanctuary to get the cutting from the great tree in there. They journeyed through the sulphur flats and the smell made them all wear face masks. It seemed like the animals didn't like the smell either as they only spotted a few birds and foxes on the way, darting here and there. The heat from the hot springs made them shed their cloaks and if it hadn't been for the smell the trip would have been a pleasant one.

     

    After a couple of hours of easy riding they came upon the entrance to the sanctuary. They left the horses outside with Larkspur and Lydia to guard them and Danifae and Zora went inside. There was the sound of running water and following the stream they entered a large cavern open to the sky and one of the most wondrous sights Danifae had ever seen.

     

    The stream ran round some massive roots and at the far end of the cavern, up a curving path was a massive tree, its branches reaching for the open roof.

    'Zora do you see that! What a wondrous sight!' Danifae cried

    Zora had a big smile on her face. 'It's kind of hard to miss! But you're right, it's beautiful!'

    They walked slowly up the path and then they saw several people sitting on the bank, admiring the view. One of the people got up and asked them where they were going.

    'I'm going up to get some sap from the tree' said Danifae. 'Who are you people?'

    'We are pilgrims come to visit the tree' replied the woman. 'You can't cut the tree with normal weapons so your trip was a waste of time'

    Danifae took out Nettlebane and said 'This one will'

    At that the pilgrims moved menacingly towards them. Danifae and Zora retreated up the path and Danifae said 'I'm not going to hurt it. I just want a small sample of the sap'

    'Why?' asked the woman. 'This tree is probably the oldest living thing on Tamriel and you want to desecrate it?'

    'I'm not going to desecrate it! I just need a little bit of the sap to take back to Whiterun to revive the tree there. I'm of the Valenwood and know of trees'

    The pilgrims weren't listening and were growing angrier by the second. Zora got out her hammer and waved it at them, whilst blocking the path with it. Danifae, whose back was to the first root really didn't want to hurt them. She felt she had to do this for Danicka, after all the help she'd given her. Plus it also gave the Eldergleam a chance of growing a younger version in Whiterun. Danifae shouted 'Fus' down the path and caused the pilgrims to stagger. With Zora waving her hammer aggressively and making angry grimaces they decided they'd had enough of whatever spell had been cast and ran towards the cavern entrance, yelling wildly. Danifae sighed in relief and turned round to the root. She put her hand on it and felt a sentience from the tree. It was far more powerful than anything she'd felt in the Valenwood!

     

    She tried to tell the tree that she meant no harm but didn't know if it understood her. She put the Nettlebane dagger against the root and the root lifted away. She and Zora continued up the path in this fashion and further up the path they saw Larkspur running into the cavern below. He ran up the path towards them.

    'Larkspur, what's wrong?' asked Danifae.

    'Lydia and I saw the pilgrims running out and we thought something bad had happened. Lydia's with the horses'

    'It's alright. We scared the pilgrims off, as I didn't want to hurt them and they were getting aggressive'

    'I'll come up with you two. This tree is remarkable. It's been many years since I was in the Valenwood, but I've never seen anything like it'

    'I put my hand on a root and felt a 'presence'. This tree has a sentience to it far more powerful than any in the Valenwood I've ever encountered'

    Larkspur put his hand on the next root in the path but shook his head. 'I don't feel anything'. Zora did the same and she didn't feel anything either.
    Danifae thought that her 'uniqueness', together with her long time spent in the Valenwood growing up gave her a connection to the tree that was lost to the others. She hurried up the path, worried that Lydia was out there alone, touching her dagger gently to the roots that blocked the path. They slowly rolled aside and the trio made it up to the top where the tree was.

     

    Here, Larkspur and Zora guarded her back whilst she knelt down and placed both hands on the trunk. She felt a deep fear emanating from the tree and tried to tell it that she meant no harm and she only wanted a little bit of sap for its brethren in Whiterun. The tree seemed to reduce its fear level a little bit and Danifae raised the Nettlebane and pressed it against the trunk. Her hand was shaking so much she had to put down the dagger for a minute and then try again. Again she pressed the blade against the trunk and felt as if the tree was trying to shrink away from the blade. She got an empty bottle in her free hand, ready to collect the sap. As gently as she could, she cut into the trunk and felt the tree shake a little as if in pain. Her hand shook again and cut deeper into the tree than she'd intended. A pain shot though her head and she felt dizzy. She dropped the blade and she thought she heard a screeching sound. Through gritted teeth, it was all she could do to pour the sap into the bottle. After a few seconds the sap stopped running from the cut and she capped the bottle, still feeling pain in her head. She staggered to her feet, retrieving Nettlebane and stored the bottle in her backpack. Quickly she got out some linen wraps, leather strips and troll fat and rubbed the fat into the cut then wrapped it in the linen wraps and bound the trunk with the leather strips. The pain in her head was fading slowly and she touched the tree again, saying 'I'm sorry! I hope this will help restore your cutting in Whiterun and then there can be two of you'.

     

    It was then that she heard her friends behind her and the noise of battle. The pain and dizziness had almost faded and she was able to see what was happening. Larkspur was firing his bow down the path at a green thing which was riddled with arrows like a pincushion and Zora was hitting another green thing. She cracked its legs out from underneath it. It went down and Danifae could see that they were Spriggans!

     

    She got out her own bow as Zora put the finishing touches to the one she had felled and it cracked into splinters. Meanwhile the one Larkspur had been firing arrows into was down on one knee and Danifae could see another bigger one at the bottom of the path. It was making a buzzing noise as if it was calling for aid. She ran down the path firing arrows into the big one as Larkspur ended the life of the one on its knees with his twin swords. The big one looked like a Matriarch and Danifae knew it could call for help from animals in the area. As she ran down the path, constantly firing arrows into it, it looked up at her and cast a restoration spell. It plucked a few arrows out of its body and ran up to meet Danifae, making a screeching sound. She put away her bow and got out her axe and shield. Fending off the blows, she was able to chop her axe into its shoulder and almost sever the left arm. The axe got stuck but she bashed it in the head with her shield and it overbalanced and went down. Its momentum freed the axe and she struck a blow to the neck which severed the head.

    Her friends had by this time finished their own battles and had ran down the path towards her. Danifae fell to the ground and started sobbing. Zora got down and put her arms round her to comfort her. Larkspur asked if she was alright and Danifae told him to give her a minute and to check on Lydia. He hesitated and Zora told him to go on. He walked back towards the cave entrance. Zora sat with Danifae until she stopped shaking and hugged her close...

     

     

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Comments

8 Comments   |   Caladran and 3 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  April 29
    This is a really nice chapter William. The connection between Danifae and the Eldergleam Tree is a nice addition to the story. 
    • William McNee
      William McNee
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      This is a really nice chapter William. The connection between Danifae and the Eldergleam Tree is a nice addition to the story. 
        ·  April 29
      Thanks Sotek. I thought that being a Bosmer, all her time spent growing up in the Valenwood should count for something. Eldergleam Sanctuary is one of my favourite locations
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  March 24
    Poor Danifae. :( Poor Eldergleam Tree. :( I like how you had there be a connection between them. :)
    • William McNee
      William McNee
      GailOlm
      GailOlm
      GailOlm
      Poor Danifae. :( Poor Eldergleam Tree. :( I like how you had there be a connection between them. :)
        ·  March 25
      Glad you liked it. Her time growing up in the Valenwood and being a Bosmer was ideal for this part of the story...;)
  • D3LTAFOX
    D3LTAFOX   ·  March 24
    Poor Danifae. :(
    Anyway, nice chapter.
    • William McNee
      William McNee
      D3LTAFOX
      D3LTAFOX
      D3LTAFOX
      Poor Danifae. :(
      Anyway, nice chapter.
        ·  March 24
      Thanks! Wrote a lot more in this chapter than I originally intended but ideas kept flowing... :)
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  March 24
    Poor Danifae at the end. o: Damned spriggans gives only headaches!
    • William McNee
      William McNee
      Caladran
      Caladran
      Caladran
      Poor Danifae at the end. o: Damned spriggans gives only headaches!
        ·  March 24
      The Eldergelam Sanctuary is one of my favourite places in the game so I had to get it into the story, Spriggans and all... ;)