Character Backstory--Elara's Journeys-Monster, Part Three

  • Elara slid on the bench next to Delphine.  “Where is he?”

    Delphine kept her glance on her plate and responded tersely, “Do you have my proof?”

    Elara sighed and pushed away from the wooden table and stood up.  “Has anyone seen a very tall Nord with robes similar to these?”  Elara asked the inn loudly, pulling at her own dusty blue robes, hanging on her spare frame.  A few of the patrons looked confused, unaccustomed to anything louder than Sven’s singing at The Sleeping Giant.

    A barely audible growl escaped from Delphine.  “Let’s take this downstairs,” she hissed softly and led Elara to her room, in which a hidden staircase descended to the secret room of the last remaining Blade.

    Delphine turned on Elara as they reached the bottom of the stairs.  “Malborn sent me a note, Dragonborn.  Sounds like you botched the whole thing and now the Thalmor suspect a new threat.”  Delphine glanced at Elara’s impassive face, and to soften her words, added, “Not very subtle, though I would not have minded slicing into a few Thalmor myself.”

    Elara saw the anger blaze momentarily in Delphine’s eyes, anger at the agents who destroyed the members of her order, and the recognition of that same emotion in herself defused her rising fury at not finding Onmund.

    “Where is he?” Elara asked again, firmly.

    Delphine sighed.   “Are you his guardian now, Dragonborn, when that is what he styles himself as?  How cute,” the Blade muttered disgustedly.

    “Protect me?” Elara kept her gaze steady, steeling herself against any words that tried to work their way under her skin.   

    “That is why he has been with you all this time, to protect you, and after your recent performance at the embassy, most likely it has been to protect others from you.”  Delphine’s sharp staccato continued.  “The purpose of being a Blade is to protect the Dragonborn.  He was interested in more information about my order, and so he took the wagon back to Riverwood with me so we could talk.”

    “Then why isn’t he here?” Elara persisted, shaken by some of the words, but keeping her mind focused on the reason she was here.

    “Oh, he jumped off the wagon half way through the trip.  Too much for him.  He went back to Winterhold, I think.  He is not made of tough stuff like we are.”  Delphine tried to gage Elara’s response, but found no hints to go on.  She changed tactics.  “Actually, it is better this way,” Delphine brightened her voice.  “The Dragonborn cannot afford attachment.”

    Elara folded her arms, scrutinizing Delphine’s expression, blank except for raised eyebrows.  The Blade twirled a dagger on the table, spinning it point down like a top, acting innocent and bored of the whole conversation.  Elara tried to untangle some of Delphine’s threads, but could not make sense of them.   Then Elara smiled, eliciting a reciprocal smile from Delphine.

    “Look, Delphine.  I think we need to set something straight.  I am born of Orin, a Nord, and Maelynne, a Breton.  My name is Elara, and I suggest you use that from now on.”

    “Well, Drag—uh Elara,” Delphine corrected herself, setting the dagger down carefully and leaning over the table to the unmoving Breton.  “I have answered your question, now where is my info?”

    “No, we are not done.” 

    Delphine crossed her arms, her pupils constricting to tiny pinpoints, nostrils slightly flaring.  Elara continued, unruffled.  “You promised to keep things safe for me, yet I come here to find Onmund and he is not here.  If this arrangement is going to work, then we have to trust each other.”  Delphine pursed her lips but said nothing.  The younger Breton shrugged, indicating there was nothing more to say.

    Elara turned on her heel to ascend the stairs.  “Oh, and by the way,” she turned her head in profile to Delphine.  “In the end, attachment is all we really have.”

    Elara dropped a satchel on the floor containing the Thalmor dossiers, slowly walking up the stairs.

    Delphine watched her leave, and when she heard the door to the inn shut, she picked up the dagger and threw it straight into the center of the practice mannequin in the corner of her room.


    Onmund kicked a clod of dirt with his boot, angry with himself.  How could he have let that woman convince him to leave the Winking Skeever after he assured Elara that he would be waiting for her there?

    “That woman is the spawn of Mephala,” he mumbled miserably, plopping down on a nearby rock to think. 

    Delphine had lured him in the wagon with talk of joining the Blades, and for a little while, he had believed that was to be his destiny.  He would always be near Elara, and no one would ever question his right and duty to protect her.  Yet something left him unsettled about Delphine, like she was not being completely forthright with him.  And he had remembered his last wagon ride from Solitude, after they had left Elara’s father with the priest of Arkay.  She had been devastated and numb, and had only just started to heal when that damned dragon came to Whiterun and she had absorbed its soul.  She had become unreachable after that, though they went through the motions of journeying together, trying to understand what this new development meant.  Coincidence, special gift, fulfillment of prophecy, Onmund did not know.  He desperately wanted to help pull her out of the darkness that enshrouded her mind, but felt utterly bewildered at what to do.  He had simply stayed with her, making her laugh when he could, discussing anything and everything with her, just keeping a line tethered to life while she dealt with all that was happening around her, inside of her.   So he had hopped out of the wagon and returned to the Winking Skeever, only to find out he had missed her.

    “And You have not helped at all…I thought You were on our side,” he shouted out into the black of night, angry at Kyne for letting him, letting them down.

    Onmund heard a couple of giggles in the night, and shouted, “Come out and show yourselves!”

    Two young boys came forward through a copse of trees at the southern edge of the grassy glade.  For a moment, Onmund thought that the goddess herself was laughing at him, but then he saw it was just those two rascals who explored Dwemer ruins for fun and profit.

    “Why aren’t you two home with your families?” Onmund demanded sharply, embarrassed that they had heard his complaint.

    The trio stood still as the heart stopping sound of wings reached their ears, then the ear splitting roar of a dragon reached them before the beast descended into the glade, rocking them to the ground.

    “Run!” Onmund yelled to the boys, their pale, terror stricken faces flashing in front of his eyes before he turned his attention to the slick and shiny scaled creature before him.

    Onmund crouched low to avoid a freezing blast from the jaws of the dragon, feeling his hood develop crystals.  He primed chain lightning spells in both hands, after he made certain that the boys were no longer there.  The spells sizzled on the wet slime of the beast’s chest, followed by a high pitched scream.  The dragon crouched low and flapped his wings, hovering a few feet in the air, deciding whether to fly away or finish this battle.  Then the dragon swiftly turned away from Onmund, knocking the Nord in the air with his swinging tail.  With a sickening crunch and pain exploding like sparks throughout his body, he turned his head, expecting to be finished off by frost or dragon teeth.  Instead, he saw the beast burst into flame, and through the blaze, a mage in college robes was visible.  Energy drained, Onmund’s eyes closed, consciousness fading.

    “Stay with me, Onmund, stay with me,” a familiar voice called from far away and he drifted, unable to keep his eyes open.  He felt waves of magicka and nausea simultaneously course through him, running through every inch of his body, questing for what was broken in order to mend it.  Onmund felt Elara’s unmistakable, peaceful presence, wrapping herself around the pain and transforming it into healing.

    “Is, is that really you,” Onmund whispered hoarsely, blinking his eyes.

    Elara gently ran her finger along Onmund’s square jaw line, “Yes, it is,” she answered softly.  Onmund felt delirious as he looked up at Elara’s twinkling eyes, difficult to distinguish from the stars overhead. 

    “I am sorry I was not there for you,” Onmund apologized, shifting slightly and his breath catching as the pain from his bruises and muscles hit him all over again. 

    “You have been with me all along, love, and it just took me some time to realize it,” Elara responded, shifting her healing spell to see if she could ease some of the pain.  She shook her head sadly to say that she could not ease anymore of his pain, but her words sunk more deeply than a spell could.

    Onmund took a deep breath and pushed himself to a seated position.  He looked at Elara, at her smiling face, tears filling her eyes and leaned over, taking her face in both of his hands.  As their lips met, it was Anu and Padomay again, the touch that created Aurbis, another realm.  

    Foreheads rested against each other, eyes closed as their lips parted, finding peace in the stillness and proximity of each other.  But a slight spasm from Onmund brought the moment to a close and Elara reached around Onmund to slowly lower his head to rest on her lap as she leaned against a nearby boulder.  More golden warmth encircled Onmund, easing the tensing muscles.

    “Rest.  You must rest now,” Elara soothed, drawing her fingers through his hair, and plucking out the occasional blade of grass. 

    “You must know,” Onmund spoke gently, “that I never thought you were a monster.”

    “I do know,” she answered, kissing him lightly on his brow.  “Your faith and my choice.”  Then, voice low and gentle, Elara began to sing.


    Across all of Tamriel no safer place can be found

    No temple or shrine or tower renowned

    Could be filled with such peace, such rest and repose.

    In all of Nirn, no matter where Kyne’s breath blows

    I could not be tempted to make a fresh start

    As there is no safer place than your loving Starry Heart.

    Like Mara and Shandar* whose love knew no bounds,

    Humbly, on my knees, I lay my pride down.

    Stronger words cannot be found but to you I impart,

    The knowledge that in all of Mundus, you hold my heart.


    “My father used to sing this to my mother every night after they tucked me into bed.  They did not know it, but I always snuck closer to the window to hear it.  It was not sung to me, but it always made me feel safe,” Elara blushed slightly.  “And now I have someone to whom I can sing it to.”

    “Every night?” Onmund asked.

    “As long as we both shall live.”

    Elara gently shifted Onmund’s head to her satchel and snuggled in the crook of his arm, close to his heartbeat.  And they talked of many things softly and fell asleep; protected by Kyne’s creatures posted as sentinels around the glade until Dawn’s Beauty awakened them to the start of a brand new day.


    *Mara and Shandar are referenced in the following lore story, Mara’s Tear.


    Ok, so this truly takes me to my gameplay impasse.  If I can fix it, we may see a continuation of Elara’s story.  If not, I may have some smaller character shorts to write for fun. But thank you for indulging me and my imagination again while I explore the excellent characters and experiences that Bethesda provides for us in Skyrim.


  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 29, 2013
    Yes, Elara was totally focused on finding her father that everything else was just background for her.  Then once that journey ending, she began to realize that the relationship that she thought was her salvation was maybe not the one she envisioned in th...  more
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 14, 2013
    Really love the poetry bits! Also, it took some time for Elara to understand her feelings but it's done! And Delphine - I hate dealing with her every time I do the main quest! 
  • Eviltrain
    Eviltrain   ·  July 18, 2012
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  April 23, 2012
    That is funny you mention that previous speculation, as I re-read my story from that perspective and it opened my eyes to a couple of things.  What can I say?  Guy was right!     And believe me, I debated over and over if I wanted to end it this way, and ...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  April 22, 2012
    Ha!  I have not been a big fan of Delphine, either, and she has to be pretty tenacious to have lasted as long as she had.  I certainly question her motivations, and played on that with this.  Yes, I had to give in a bit to my characters...they deserve som...  more
  • ricardo maia
    ricardo maia   ·  April 22, 2012
    Always the pushy Delphine trying to push everyone to her own obsessions and nghtmares! In my first playthrough I was so disgusted with her that I exterminated the blades. I won't ever play the mainquest again, but if I did i would choose again for the gre...  more
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  April 22, 2012