Character Backstory: Elara's Journeys in Skyrim, the land of her father, Chapter 10--Testing Ground

  •                Both mages were quiet as they trudged along, observing the dawn’s light sparkle on the new fallen snow.  They had already discussed the destination of Fellglow Keep, near Whiterun, and knew it would be a tiresome journey.    They saved their breath by refraining from conversation, but their minds were active and alert.

                    Elara pulled out her map to check their location.  “Do you mind if we take a small detour?  I promised a Dunmer friend from Riften that I would take a look at a shipwreck near here that may hold a key to his past.  A long shot, I know, but I made a promise.”

                    Onmund looked at the map and smiled.  He knew she kept her word and did not expect things to be any other way.  He, in fact, had hoped it wouldn’t.   “Now I see why you were gone so long.  You seem to disdain the use of roads,” he teased.

                    She smiled wryly and took that as an assent to her request for a detour.  They turned north and continued until they saw smoke rising from a campfire.  The mages ducked behind a rock to evaluate their options.

                    “Looks like bandits and I hate to say, but most bandits in Skyrim prefer to fight instead of talk,” Elara pursed her lips grimly.

                    “Calm spell?” Onmund inquired.

                    “Perhaps with the two of us it could be powerful enough to get us through.  But then there are five of them.  Just be prepared for it not to work.  In my experience, they show no mercy.”  Elara swallowed her apprehension.  She was used to risking her life, but not that of her friend.  She would learn how to fight and protect at the same time, that is all, she told herself, but fear gnawed at her stomach for the first time since Helgen.

                    She strode toward the campfire, hands open and raised in the air to indicate peaceful intentions, at least she hoped that was how they took it.  “Excuse me,” she smiled broadly.  “I was just wondering…”

                    “You never should have come here,” a fur clad Nord growled as he hoisted his ax over his shoulder. 

                    Elara caught Onmund’s glance out of the corner of her left eye and gave him a slight nod.  They went through the familiar routine of filtering magic, concentrating it, and unleashing it on the hirsute Nord.  The bandit’s eyes grew wide and his nostrils flared. 

                    “I bet these are a couple magic users from the College…let’s give ‘em what for boys,” he shouted.

                    “Seems we may need to practice that one a bit more,” Onmund muttered.

                    Elara snorted a laugh and sized up the situation.  One ax-wielding Nord, two archers, a greatsword, and a mystery.  The fifth bandit stood close to the water, arms crossed over his chest.  The leader, Elara thought, probably not thinking he would need to fight one mage in robes and the other in mismatched light armor.  She panicked at the thought of Onmund’s robes.  She would have to take out those archers first, so she raised both her hands and lobbed two fireballs at one archer.  That was all it took for one, and as Elara looked over at Onmund, lightening poured from both his hands to take down the other archer.  The ax-man was huge and slow moving, but he was heading straight for Onmund.  Elara ran, shooting fire at the bearded Nord and priming her left hand for a healing spell.  Onmund tried to scramble backwards up the snowy incline that led down to the camp, but slipped.  She dodged in front of the ax, taking a blow on her back.  She twisted around, only to see the bandit blown back by lightning bolts.  Onmund was up and scuttled sideways to meet the greatsword with another of his super-charged bolts.  Elara was amazed at the power her companion had, and realized she had witnessed magic practice in the Hall of Elements that was extremely tame.  What else had Onmund been hiding underneath his cheerful exterior?

                    These thoughts flashed quickly as she scrambled up to look for the leader.  His location was discovered as she saw an arrow sink itself into Onmund’s left shoulder.  A second imbedded itself into his chest on the right, and he fell to his knees.  Elara threw herself in front of Onmund and felt the fury of fire erupt from her fingertips.  She moved closer to the leader, always staying in between the arrows and Onmund.  She did not have time to dodge and weave and play a game with the leader.  If she did not take him out, the next arrow would fell Onmund permanently.   Elara took an arrow in her left shoulder as she closed in on the bandit.  He pulled his sword as Elara pulled out her Elven Sword of the Flame, and slid it through the iron plate of her opponent.  He fell dead to the ground.

                    Panting, Elara rushed to Onmund, who had pulled the arrows out, but was staggered by the pain.  She used all of her energy to embrace him with waves of golden light that sunk quickly into his body and healed his wounds.  “Th-thanks,” he gasped.  “Not sure it was necessary though.”

                    Elara plopped on the snow beside him, laughing with relief.  “So it takes more than two arrows for you to lose your sense of humor?”

                    “He was a bad shot.  He missed my funny bone,” Onmund said in mock seriousness, then looked at the red snow where Elara had sat.  “You’re hurt,” his brows furrowed in concern as he raised his hands.

                    “Oh, right.”  Elara shook her head at the spell waiting in his hands.  “Help me get this armor off.  I think the ax hit caved the armor into my shoulder.”

                    Onmund’s stomach lurched at the sight of the elven metal fused with her skin.  It was the blow she had taken for him.  In five minutes, she had saved his life multiple times.   

                    “Pull it,” she commanded.  He took a deep breath and ripped the shard of metal from her bare back.  Keeping her back to him, circles of golden light wound its way around her and closed the wound.  She quickly slipped her robe over her head and faced him.  

                    “Are you all right?” Onmund asked, still in shock, and confused at how she endured such a wound.

                    He saw the color return to her cheeks as she answered.  “Healing is like breathing to me,” she smiled shyly.  “I do not know how I survived childhood, except through my mother’s teaching.  She got tired of healing me all the time, so she taught me.  And let me tell you, I got a lot of practice.”  She chuckled at the memory.  “Papa said it was my adventurous Nordic spirit, but Mama said it was most likely a clumsy Nordic spirit.”

                    Elara looked up at Onmund, his normally sparkling grey eyes cloudy.  She had not even noticed the color of his eyes before in the dim secretive light at the College.   She started walking toward the dead body of the leader.  Onmund followed numbly.

                    “Here, this should protect you better than the college robes.”  Elara peeled the armor off the bandit and tossed it to Onmund.  “The enchanted robes are fine for battles against magic users, but this is Skyrim, after all.”  She looked at her companion, who seemed a bit out of sorts.

                    “Well, it would be silly to waste the fire.  Let’s have a bottle of mead and something warm in our bellies.  Then we can get on with looking for any clues to Brand-Shei’s past.”   Elara gently took Onmund’s arm and guided him to the warm fire.


  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 10, 2013
    I see... she was trying to look confident and not touched by the death and conflict, though inside she's hurt by it. Also Skyrim doesn't let place for carelessness and bravado, it's a simple necessity. 
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 10, 2013
    I guess it could be seen as ruthlessness, Vazgen, but I was hoping it would come off as more practical.  Elara has realized that by having a traveling companion that she is now responsible for him in certain ways, due to her experience already wandering S...  more
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 2, 2013
    Interesting to see the ruthlessness in Elara forced by the harsh world of Skyrim... The battle preparation, taking armor from the slain bandit and drinking mead afterwards 
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 30, 2012
    Thanks again, Eviltrain, for reading and commenting.  I enjoy writing, but it is more satisfying to know that others enjoy reading it, too.  The blog is full of differing styles of writing, and it is a treat to read for me to read them.  I guess I can say...  more
  • Eviltrain
    Eviltrain   ·  June 25, 2012
    good show! There's a certain brevity and focus to your writing here that I really like. At least, it's a quality that I try to incorporate. In any case, wonderfully done.
  • Morning Mist Hanrui
    Morning Mist Hanrui   ·  April 2, 2012
    This is another dissyingly splendid story, I had missed out before. Thanks to Ricardo's nomonations I started reading again, and I'm completely swept away by Elara's story! I love the atmosphere of comfort, friendship and adventure. Your style of writing ...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  February 7, 2012
    Thank you, gentlemen, for taking the time to read and providing such kind and thoughtful feedback!  Hirsute...well, oddly enough, it is part of my vocab, just raising young children does not allow one to use those words all that frequently...and it is nic...  more
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  February 7, 2012
    You know how I feel about elara and onmund from previous post but I like the desperation and disregard she shows to save him. The action sequence was brill, I loved the bit with the armour and the all the healing magic going on very nice touch. More please 
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  February 7, 2012
    Thanks so much...first battle scene and all, not sure I could do it. 
    Well, I wanted to show that she is a not a killing machine and tries to avoid fights if necessary...ha, Bilal!  I had to use that line!  Plus, that is Onmund's standard line when ...  more
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  February 7, 2012
    “He was a bad shot.  He missed my funny bone” Great one Kynareth
    Good battle scenes too!  I'm interested to see how Onmund and Elara's relationship progresses after this battle, and I'm interested to find out about Brand-Shei too. I'm assuming it h...  more