The Outlawed Hero- Chapter 1

  • Chapter 1

    "You there, cat, wake up." The thickly accented Nord voice roused me from my unwilling slumber. My first feeling was the pain that generated from the back of my head, causing a sound only I heard, like a drum pounding inside my brain. As my eyes grudgingly opened, I began to feel a bumpy, rocking motion beneath me. It could only mean I was in some kind of cart, but why? I looked around, taking in the evergreen trees and thick bushes that rolled by slowly as the cart moved. Sitting directly across from me, with his hands bound (like mine, I realised, after I tried to move them) in hempen rope, was one of the Nord soldiers who had rode into my camp before we were attacked by the strangers who I never saw. His hair was similar to his leader's, who I saw sitting next to me as I glanced around, along with the horse-thief they had captured. It was a lighter blond, and was left hanging loose, although it was shorter, and not tied in any way. The beginnings of a beard were on his face, and his grey eyes stared at me as I took note of my surroundings.

    "W-what happened?" I asked, after I found the will to speak. The words felt odd on my tongue, and there was a faint pain from it, I must have bitten it when I was knocked unconcious.

    "Imperial ambush, they must have seen your fire too, and come to see if it was us." The man said, slightly accusingly.

    "Who are you, for them to want to attack you?" I said, the method of talking coming back to me. By his look, the soldier seemed surprised I did not know him, or his group

    "I'm Ralof, of Riverwood," he answered, before looking towards his leader, who, as well as having his hands bound, had been gagged as well, unlike anyone else. "And the man next to you is Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, and the true High King of Skyrim."

    "And the leader of a false rebellion, Nord." An Imperial put in.

    The latter man's introduction wholly surprised me. A man of such importance, captured by the Empire, what could that mean? Suddenly realising I had refused to give Ralof my own name, I granted it to him.

    "I am Na'jad, of Torval." I said to him, not expecting him to of heard of my reputation in the south, this far away from it. It seemed I was right.

    "Shut up back there!" My thoughts were drowned out by one of our captor's voices in front of us. After that, conversation died out, and I was left to think, and assess my situation. When I paid attention to what I wore, I realised I had been stripped and left in rags, my supplies and weapons were nowhere to be seen, I had been left with simply the clothes I wore. My black fur was exposed to the sunlight, where it shimmered slightly with the reflection. My tail hung through a slat in the wagon, and my ears were pricked up with the sense of danger. Overall, it appeared my body had come to no harm, other than the area of my head where I had been hit. However, the absence of my gear left me feeling naked, and I couldn't hope to use my magic, especially with my hands bound. As I realised my helpless situation, I noticed a walled village coming into sight through the trees.

    These kind of settlements had never existed in Elsweyr, where populated areas were left open to the elements, and the only protection were the wooden or sandstone walls of the houses. Seeing this place, all stone and mortar, made my hair stand on end. These Nords may find safety in their brick fortresses, but a Khajiit will find only danger.

    As we neared the stone village, my thoughts went back to the last time I had been in a compound like it. I had barely reached manhood, when the Thalmor came calling at my family's home. My parents had commited acts of treason against the Aldmeri Dominion, they said; a treason that was punishable by death. At that my mother had told me to leave the room, but I'd heard enough. It seems to me now that at that point I first felt real terror, but underneath it, anger. A few days later the same elves came again, but this time with more soldiers, and even a few battlemagi. Apparently, even in their position of power, the Altmer felt threatened by our kind, and rightly so. They took my whole family away, including me, to their own fortress on the border of the city, where us locals had heard of blood-curdling things going on inside those walls. One by one, they brought a member of my family into the dungeons, where the same process would happen. There would be a few minutes of muffled conversation, followed by shouts of protest, ending in screaming. No one who went into that room came out, save for the interrogator, to call in the next person. The elves were deathly quiet the whole time, not even sparing us a glance until they grabbed us and threw us into the chamber with their companion. As my turn was coming, my father slowly leaned over to me and whispered:

    "Na'jar, get out of here. They can't catch you if you climb the walls and hide in the-"

    "Silence, beast!" One of the previously silent guards commanded my father. But I'd heard enough. Run and leave us. Leave us to our fates. He may not of said it, but I knew my father meant it. So I did what he said, I ran. I jumped to my feet, shoving a guard out of the way and raced to the wall. It was high, but I had been climbing all my life, so it was no challenge. I heard mixed shouts, some from my family, telling me to keep going, some from the Thalmor, commanding me to get down or they would be forced to use their archers on me. I disregarded it all. Nothing mattered but putting one hand in this nook, and a foot on that ledge. After a while I heard a guard calling to the archers.

    "Notch!, Draw!...Loose!" When he shouted that final word I was just pulling myself over the ramparts and onto the rough wooden planks of the gangway that ran along the fortress. I was lucky, as there was no one standing on that part of the platform, most of the guards were posted near my family. As I heard the arrows twanging from their bowstrings, I ducked my head down, and, without a second thought, leapt off the platform, over the wall, and down onto the path below. My feet felt like they were sinking into the ground, muddy with the day's rain, but I still kept a distance between myself and the Altmer sent to catch me. When I neared the gates of Torval, thankfully manned by Khajiits, not Thalmor, I darted through them and lost my pursuers in a twisting back alley I had learnt about earlier in my life. I never saw my family again, I can't even remember my parent's faces, but whenever I glimpsed a Thalmor patrol in the street I felt an evergrowing hatred of them. They had taken everything from me and I wouldn't let them get away with it.

    "Na'jar. Na'jar." Ralof's voice drew me out of my thoughts and back to the present. We were entering the gates to the village now, and Ralof was still speaking.

    "Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. I wonder if Vilod still makes that mead with juniper berries mixed in. It's funny..." I wasn't listening to the last sentence. As I looked around, a tall woman, no...elf, caught my eye. Her skin was a pale golden-green, and she was in the middle of exchanging words with an Imperial, a general of some kind. But that wasn't important. What she wore was. She was clothed in black robes, with gold inlay crisscrossing in different places on the gown. I knew that uniform. It was the same kind of clothing the interrogator had worn on the day my life collapsed. Thalmor. Why are they here!? Suddenly, my fur seemed to rise even higher than it had been. I felt a low growl generating from my throat, and Ralof seemed to notice.

    "What's wrong Na'jar? You look angry. There was nothing we could do you know, we didn't know the Imperials-"

    "It's not the Imperials, Ralof, it's the elves. What are they doing here?"

    "Ah, Elenwen, the First Emissary of the Thalmor in Skyrim. She probably came to see Ulfric executed."

    Executed. I hadn't thought they were going to kill us, only capture and imprison us, maybe use us as leverage against the other rebels. But this... They were going to kill us all, with Ulfric, even me and the thief. A sudden, uncontrollable fear gripped me, something I'd never felt before. All the anger was gone, only terror was left. The horse thief felt it too. His eyes went wide, and I saw his whole body start shaking. Hurriedly, he started mumbling to himself.

    "Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh; Divines, please help me!"

    "The gods won't help you now, and I don't think there's much room for a horse thief in Sovngarde, friend." I told the man. I knew it wouldn't comfort him, but in this time, it was too late for comfort. After I said that, the man turned away, resigned to his own thoughts, but still shuddering and he made quiet sobbing sounds whenever we hit a bump in the badly cobbled road. As the cart stopped, along with a second one, filled with the 4 other men and women from the Stormcloak's group. Just after we stopped, an Imperial officer, armoured in full steel plate, sword in scabbard, marched into the clearing, accompanied by a priestess and a group of soldiers. Then finally, after we thought the last had arrived, the headsman walked up behind the final soldier. By his skin, he was Redguard, but most of his head was covered by a black, ominous, hood that shrouded his eyes. He wore a pelt-and-leather sleeveless jerkin, adorned with three skulls around his waist. But no one was concerned by what he was garbed in, the giant, 1 bladed axe he held in his hand drew everyone's eyes. Lokir burst into tears then, and even Ulfric seemed afraid.


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  • ShyGuyWolf
    ShyGuyWolf   ·  October 29, 2014
    great story so far.
  • Riggzon
    Riggzon   ·  September 4, 2014
    Thanks :)
  • LokaCola
    LokaCola   ·  September 2, 2014
    Really good chapter, I liked how you described  Na'jar and your writing when it came to the characters just felt humane, which Nik already pointed out.
  • Riggzon
    Riggzon   ·  September 2, 2014
    Again, thank you. I was hoping it didn't seem like I'd thrown all the emotional backstory in either, after I posted this I thought I might of done a bit too much of it. I understand the brackets breaking flow/immersion as well, I'll try not to put too man...  more
  • Nik
    Nik   ·  September 2, 2014
    That was some fine chapter there. Loved how you gently started describing Na'jar (black fur, pointy ears) I just hate those who tell me how their hero look by some sort of a list. You did it great.
    Also the humane touch you've added to the chapter w...  more