Elara's Song, Chapter One

  • “That he took the name “Pelinal” was passing strange, no matter his later sobriquets, which were many.  That was an Elvish name, and Pelinal was a scourge on that race, and not much given to irony.  Pelinal was much too grim for that;”

    The Song of Pelinal, Volume 1  


    Elara’s gaze panned across her room in the Hall of Attainment.  Well, not mine for much longer, she sighed wistfully.   She had experienced a whirlwind of activity since she and Onmund had received a letter from Savos Aren summoning them back to the College.  They had found Ancano completely subsumed by the Eye and at the urging of the Arch Mage, Elara and Onmund had traveled through a Dwemer ruin and ultimately Labyrinthian to fight the Dragon priest Morokei for the Staff of Magnus.   Battling Ancano to break his connection to the Eye was the toughest conflict she had faced.  She still had to close her eyes tightly in an attempt to banish the images of the still forms of Tolfdir and Onmund lying on the cold stone floor of the Hall; fighting Ancano all the while she had feared they were dead.   Savos and Mirabelle had given their lives to protect the College and although a week had passed, it was still a blow to all the mages.

    Elara received the gratitude of the Psijics, though not of the Thalmor, who had remained oddly silent about the transgressions of their representative.  I have not been kind to the Thalmor either.  Elara shivered and forcibly swallowed the disconcerting rage that bubbled inside when she thought about them. 

    And now I am Arch Mage.  She groaned.  It was a quick and unanimous installment; members of the College cited Psijic approval as adequate.  J’zargo was the only one who voiced displeasure over her appointment, though Elara could never tell if the Khajiit was serious or not.  He probably prefers it that way.

    Quit your lollygagging Arch Mage, she mock scolded herself.  She tucked the small stack of books sitting on the bed under her arm and turned around.  Across the circular common area, she caught sight of Onmund’s broad back, motionless in his room.

    Onmund.  College business had prevented her from talking to him as much.  She had not realized the depth of diplomatic skill she needed to handle the temperamental mages in the College, and was even more surprised that she had been able to arrange peaceful solutions for all, even Enthir, though she was realistic enough to know that it would not stay that way for long.   She tried to carve out some time with Onmund, but then Tolfdir or another Master would come scurrying in with an issue that needed her immediate attention.  He would simply smile cheerfully and shrug his shoulders.   She had missed his insight and good humor, and wanted to reassure him of her sincerity and full intention to continue what had been acknowledged between them that night she had found him after the Delphine Debacle.   Yet she also worried that her recent appointment had put too much distance between them.

    She blushed as felt the outline of the amulet around her neck underneath her robes.  Why don’t Nords simply use words to express their feelings instead of an amulet?   With a deep breath, she entered his room.

    “Well,” she began tentatively, “to solve the J’zargo issue, I challenged him to a duel of sorts this evening… a mead duel to be exact.  I was hoping you would be my second?”  Elara began talking faster, as Onmund still had not turned around to face her.  “Brelyna said J’zargo would ask her if he knew what was good for him.  I think something happened between them while we were gone.  Have you noticed how J’zargo can hardly keep his tail off her when they are together?  I hope I am not required to rule on romance in the College,” she laughed nervously, glancing again at her friend.  No chuckle, no ready smile, just silence.

    “Onmund?” her brow furrowed in concern.  She took a step forward and lightly touched his shoulder.

    The tall Nord flinched and moved quickly away, as if her touch burned.  Elara saw a letter in his hands and noticed a bulging satchel on his bed.

    “My Da is dead.  Ma wants me home,” he said tersely, turning his head to avoid her gaze.

    “Oh, Onmund,” she said softly, moving to comfort him, but he smoothly eluded her again.

    Misunderstanding the gesture, Elara quickly added, “I will leave instructions with Tolfdir.”  She reached out to touch his arm, but quickly arrested her movement.  “I would like to go with you.”

    “I don’t need you,” he said firmly.

    Confused, Elara stammered, “B..but…”

    “I do not want you.  Not now to try and heal my family crisis or frankly ever.”  His voice grew sharper.  “I would never expose my grieving family to someone of your volatile temper and unnatural abilities.  Now if you would excuse me Arch Monst, er, Arch Mage, I have a wagon to catch.”  Onmund made a mock bow, shouldered his satchel and strode out of the Hall.

    Elara stared at the rumpled quilt and slowly sank into a chair, noting the hills and valleys where the satchel had rested.  She still clutched her books and placed her hand over her chest, absently running her thumb over the outline of the amulet.

    Hours later, Brelyna poked her head around the corner.  “Onmund?” she called gaily, but stopped short at the stricken look on Elara’s face.  Her sharp Dunmer eyes took in the empty room.

    “I will take care of J’zargo.”  She gave the Breton’s arm a reassuring squeeze and scurried out, mind racing with worry over two of her friends.

    Elara blinked and stood up, vaguely aware of the cramp in her arm that clutched her books.  She slowly walked to the solitary pillow and slipped the amulet she had been caressing underneath it, smoothed the coverlet, and left the Hall.  She paced the courtyard until the last evening star disappeared, and resigned herself to the duties of the next day, for that is all she would ever have.


    Outside, Onmund walked stiffly over the icy bridge to Winterhold and his waiting wagon.

    Thank Julianos I can manage a tongue as sharp as Ma’s.

    Yeah, you crushed her.

    Faintly Onmund wondered who he was speaking with, but he was wound too tight to pursue the inquiry further.

    I even avoided looking in her eyes.

    Coward, the voice said.  She is better off without you.

    As Onmund climbed into the wagon, back still towards the College, he agreed, and the full misery of what he had done descended, disgust roiling in his stomach with the sway of the wagon.  Uncharacteristically, he wished that Oblivion would swallow him whole, the thought of which at least distracted him from the ominous message his mother sent, promising him truth.  A message in which he had to lie to Elara in order to receive.


  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  October 28, 2013
    Didnt realise you had started to continue writing Elara's story. I beautiful chapter and quite sad too. I always loved her relationship with Onmund and he seems to have blocked himself off to Elara now. Im intrigued where he part of the story will go as I...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  July 30, 2013
    Thanks for the comments, Armathyx, and yes, we should chat about Pelinal!  Regarding the amulet, I simply meant that generally people who are in a courtship situation (looking at it from a Breton's point of view) generally make verbal declarations.  I tho...  more
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 17, 2013
    Wow! I started to wonder for a moment, is this about the same Elara and Onmund, but that last paragraph dispelled my doubts. This new conspiracies are promising... 
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  September 9, 2012
    @Vix, thanks for that...I have a lot of fun with J'zargo for some reason...it is easier to laugh with irritating people than let them get under your skin.  The Song of Pelinal is key to the formation of this whole story, so yes, I think I have bitten off ...  more
  • Tobias Gray
    Tobias Gray   ·  August 30, 2012
    Excellent work. You managed to to catch the audience's interest with that last paragraph and hook us for the next part.
  • ricardo maia
    ricardo maia   ·  August 30, 2012
    Ok, you've caught my attention. Naturally there's a conspiration behind this turn of events - there's always a conspiration going on the College. Now what?
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  August 29, 2012
    Thanks all...I turn off the computer to put the little ones to bed and then I actually have some comments...it makes the queasy stomach worthwhile!  
    @Eviltrain, yes, I am on my Kurt Vonnegut writing advice kick, as he said...
    “Be a Sadist.  N...  more
  • Batman
    Batman   ·  August 29, 2012
    wow, that was awesome and sad at the same time, good job Kyn.
  • Matt Feeney the New Guy
    Matt Feeney the New Guy   ·  August 29, 2012
    Oh because Onmund was so much better off in your story being a guinea pig to a vampiric succubus :P Anyways very well done, I've always wondered, " How would someone so young react to becoming the Arch-mage at such young, and maybe even inexperienced, age...  more
  • Eviltrain
    Eviltrain   ·  August 29, 2012
    sweet jesus. way to kill a budding romance girl. So, what happens next?