Character Backstory: Elara's Journeys in Skyrim, the land of her father, Chapter 6--Change is in the Wind

  •                 Onmund felt his fingertips tingle as he pulled in the magical energies around him, distilling them, discarding what was impure, and focusing them.  He raised his palms and powerful electrical current shot towards the magicked lights in the Hall of Elements. 

                    “Excellent,” Faralda commented.  “I think you are the most talented Destruction mage to come through Winterhold in some time, excluding myself, of course.”  Onmund was shocked but pleased by the praise from the normally acerbic Destruction instructor.  The willowy Altmer stretched.  “It is time for me to retire for the night.”  She took a few steps, and then turned around.  “Make sure you get some rest.  Your hard work is admirable, but one can become swallowed by magic and then lose the will to control it.  You have to maintain control.”

                    They both glanced at Ancano, who had been studying the orb from Saarthal for months.  Faralda raised her eyebrows, and Onmund understood the message.  Ancano spent so much time either gazing at the glowing orb or in his room, no doubt contemplating the powerful energies emanating from the sphere. 

                    Onmund nodded and smiled reassuringly at Faralda.  Her shoulders relaxed and she left.   He would have liked to practice a little longer, but that would leave him alone with Ancano and the glowing sphere.  He was not necessarily afraid of Ancano, but he certainly avoided him whenever possible.  Brelyna and J’zargo were most likely asleep, he thought, as he moved to the doors.  So he would be having his mead and bread alone.  Again.

                    A soft snow was falling in the courtyard.  Onmund turned his face upwards, to feel the snowflakes refreshing chill.   He hated to think it, but he missed all the time he spent out of doors at home.  He was usually hiding from his family after his chores were completed, up in a tree or a cleft in a rock.  He found peace observing the habits of all the wild animals.  He learned to feel the subtle changes in the air and could predict shifts in the weather.   It was almost as if Kyne herself was speaking to him, sharing the secrets of creation around him.    

                    He also wanted to practice his magic where no one would see him.  The outdoors of Skyrim was his first school in discerning the magic around him.  He learned to filter it, refine it, and hone his skills.  In some ways, Kyne was his first teacher, and he had always honored her.

                   The College was everything he had dreamed about for so long: the intense studying and practice, the companionship of like-minded mages, the freedom to finally feel like he was not some sort of Nordic aberration.  He chuckled softly and shook his head.  It took so much struggle and pain to get here and now he was not sure if this was where he wanted to be.

                    A gust of wind suddenly swirled around him, momentarily wrapping him in a spiral of snow.  He smiled, feeling that old connection with the world around him.  

                    A plea to the Source of the wind welled up from somewhere deep inside.  “Please blow her back here safely,” he breathed.   


                   Elara found herself walking to Windhelm, not an oasis of peace, she thought, by any stretch of the imagination, but neither was she at the moment.  The cold and pure white snow was soothing to her raw spirit, however, so she wandered the frozen ground around the fortress-city, running from wild animals and avoiding Stormcloak patrols.  She ventured into Windhelm to use the alchemy lab at The White Phial or Oengul War-Anvil’s forge.  The brief respite offered from these creative pursuits allowed her mind to recuperate from its endless barrage of recriminations and accusations.  Then she would journey out into the snow again, attempting to make her mind as white and empty as the landscape.  Her heart was another matter entirely.              

                    One evening, the scent of cooking meat drew her to a copse of trees which hid a circle of rocks and a roaring fire.  A couple of hunters squatted around the fire, roasting some salmon.   Something about the warmth of the glade and the easy companionship evident between the two hunters made Elara pause.  She had been avoiding people as much as possible, but the smiles that these two shared and the low chuckles made her heart ache.   And that ache surprised her, as she believed that she was too numb to feel.  Yet, unbeknownst to her, the cool winds and pristine snow had served as a bandage that allowed healing to take place.

                    She backed slowly out of the small clearing, not wanting to disturb their dinner or their friendly intimacy.   When she was out of earshot, she headed for her favorite rocky outcropping, a little north west of the city.  It made for excellent star-gazing, as one of the rocks was fairly smooth and comfortable to lie back on.  Elara slid her pack underneath her head and lay down.  The night was cold and clear and her mind wandered among the sparkling stars.  She did this all the time back in High Rock, sometimes with her mother, who would tell her stories about the constellations in the sky.  The stars were her family and always welcomed her questions, her sorrows, her joys, and her simple presence.

                    “Is Papa up there, watching over us?” she asked her mother one night.

                    Her mother smiled gently and said, “He is watching over us in here,” laying her hand on Elara’s heart.

                    “How do you know?” Elara had asked, sitting up, tears shining in her eyes. 

                    “I know, my dear.  I can hear his voice on the wind, see his eyes in the stars, and I see his smile every time I look at you.”  Her voice broke slightly as she cupped Elara’s face in her hands.  “And I know he would come for us if he could,” she added, to answer the unspoken question in Elara’s eyes.

                    Elara trusted her mother’s words, and grew up with the certainty that her father was imprisoned somewhere, loving them both from afar.   She still carried that certainty with her and knew she owed it to her mother’s memory to find him and if necessary, rescue him.

                    A soft breeze brushed her cheeks and her reverie was broken.  With the stars and moon still shining bright above her, she opened her map and searched for the spot Enthir marked for her.  She would retrieve the staff that he requested and swap it for Onmund’s amulet.  Onmund.  Thinking of him called to mind the hunters in the clearing.  She would get back on track by following her heart and helping a friend.

                    She stood up and shouldered her pack.  With a smile and a grateful glance to the stars, she headed west towards Shriekwind Bastion, north of Falkreath.



  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 10, 2013
    Aw Vazgen, that is such a hard moment, particularly if you are playing a character who wants to protect other NPC's in game.  I have a few of those moments that just make you want to stop playing the game for a few moments in shock...or maybe a few days!
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 1, 2013
    I was enjoying the peaceful company of the hunters and traded some pelts with them when a Frost Troll attacked. I managed to kill him but the hunters were dead... My last save was ages ago and I couldn't revert to it. Those were the first NPCs I was unabl...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 1, 2013
    Oh, no!  I am sorry that place was not good for will have to share what happened if you wish.  Thanks...I was drawn to Onmund's character because of his background story (a magic using Nord) which would indicate to me a difficult past, but he se...  more
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  May 26, 2013
    Were those hunters a little south from the city on a hill? I had one of my most painful moments in Skyrim in that place... I really enjoyed the change of perspective, it was nice to see Onmund's feelings. He seems to fell lonely without Elara near him 
  • Shadowscale
    Shadowscale   ·  August 23, 2012
    lol Shriekwind :}
  • Dreema
    Dreema   ·  February 1, 2012
    Very nice, very nice indeed!  You have considerable skill, wordsmith!
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  February 1, 2012
    Ky another gripping and thoroughly entertaining blog. The play of emotions for both onmund and elara is brilliant. Your blogs are one of the ones that once I start reading Im completely emmersed until I finish it. Love the pictures you paint and I want to...  more
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  February 1, 2012
    Utterly brilliant - I love the way you tap into the characters' emotions! After writing some of my own stuff (which wasn't on stupid topics like in school) I'm in awe of your handiwork!
  • Louis the fourth
    Louis the fourth   ·  January 31, 2012
    Elara's adventures are exceptionally well written . The emotions are overwhelming. I like the way you expanded on Onmund's story.
    I also like the idea of the lessons in the college. I personally think that this was what the college's quests in Skyri...  more