Character Backstory: Elara's Journeys in Skyrim, the land of her father, Chapter 15--Confronting Things

  • Well, some of you may know that my main quest line with Elara is bugged, so I will not be taking you through that portion of the game.  However, her mission is to find her father, and I hope that I can complete that quest satisfactorily for everyone.  I have not posted in a bit as I have tried to rework everything to fit my new "in-game" issue.

    As a reminder, Elara and Onmund are still in Markarth, and last chapter had him waking up for the first time in Vlindrel Hall.  I have a little more to go in Markarth as a result of the injuries and healing that took place.  Then it will be fast and furious to the ending I have planned.  Hope it is all right, but most of all, I hope you enjoy it!



    Elara still hated Markarth.  But she did not want to risk moving Onmund before he had gained full strength back in his leg.   The many stairs provided ample opportunities to exercise his leg, and Onmund and Elara wandered the city streets slowly, alternating between conversation and quiet comfort in each other’s company.  He was occasionally surprised by an acknowledgement from one of the city guards or a resident.  “Hail, brave mage” they would say or something similar.  Elara told him that Calcemo found the remains of the Centurion Onmund had slain and found it to be the largest and most sophisticated that he had ever seen.

     “He was amazed that you brought him down with one blast, and it takes a lot to impress an Altmer,” Elara smiled.  She was pleased to see Onmund receiving respect for his magical abilities instead of censure.

    Onmund stopped walking and placed his hand on Elara’s shoulder.  “I am sorry for what I did.  Taking your magicka was unforgivable.”

    “It was entirely forgivable, and it saved our lives.  My blade would have gone dull trying to slay that Centurion on my own,” Elara reassured him, yet her mind was still uneasy.   She was used to unorthodox magic; it was the only magic she knew.  However the raw power exhibited by Onmund in the ruins was entirely different.   She wanted to talk to him about it another time, when she was certain he was fully healed.

    Onmund was entranced by Markarth, in spite of the horror of Nchuand-Zel.  He found the sound of the waterfalls soothing and the architecture fascinated him.   Even Elara had to admit that she loved Vlindrel Hall, as it felt insulated from the rest of the world and its worries.  Without Argis underfoot, glaring at Onmund every time Elara’s back was turned, it almost felt like their own home.   Onmund felt ridiculous when his mind wandered in that direction, but he could not help but respond to her attentions, as even his own family never treated him with such concern or care. 

    As for Onmund’s health, he felt better than he ever had before.  It was like her healing skills took care of all the aches and pains he was accustomed to experiencing and made him feel ten years younger.  Yet he watched her slowly gain only a little strength each day, knowing that she was not going to be the same again.  She was out of breath after a stroll around the city, but she would stop and point out a view, thinking that Onmund would not notice.  Elara sparred with Argis for an hour each day and while she was winded and exhausted, Argis never broke a sweat.

     “There has to be something you can brew up to make it better for her,” Onmund demanded as he stormed down the stairs into The Hag’s Cure.  

    “Better for her, or better for you?” Bothela questioned wryly.

    “Of course, for her,” he thundered, irate at this smug woman who seemed to always ask him hard questions.  She was not kindly and encouraging, like Tolfdir, but was sharp and condescending to him one minute, then grandmotherly the next. 

    “I had better hopes for you, Onmund,” she shook her head sadly.  “Is she in physical pain?  No. She is simply physically weaker than she was before she saved your life, you fool.   A part of her lives in you now and that is the simple fact.  It is not reversible, nor would she want it to be.  Healing is like breathing for one of her kind, and I wish I could have told her not to waste it on an ingrate like you. “

    Onmund slammed his fist on the shop counter.  “And I did not ask for her to ruin her health just to save me.   You have to know something, anything that could help her.”  His eyes blazed as he drew himself up to his full height, hoping to intimidate her, but hating himself at the same time for doing it.

    “Oh, it’s useless!”  Onmund closed his eyes and slumped against a wall.  “I am sorry for getting angry with you when I am angry with the Divines for letting this happen. “

    “Well, if you have extra anger to spare, I bet Argis would enjoy using you as a target, uh, I mean training partner,” Bothela smiled wickedly and Onmund could not help but laugh.

    “I do not think he would mind taking a few swipes at me,” he said ruefully, rubbing his chin.  “I do not understand what I did to the man, however.”

    “Let’s just say he thinks you are in his territory, so to speak, but he is smart enough to leave you alone while Elara is around.  I am surprised to say that hulk of flesh has more brains than a certain mage that I know.” Bothela sniffed.

    Onmund was tired of fighting, tired of being angry, tired of trying to find answers to things he could not fix.  At this moment, he could not see a reason why Elara liked Bothela so much, why he liked her when he first met her.  She was a thorn in his side and she seemed to enjoy taunting him.  “I was still delirious,” he said out loud in answer to his thoughts.

     Bothela seemed to read his mind and grinned widely.  “I liked you more when you were delirious, instead of this raging pain in my ass of a Nord.”

    Onmund struggled with himself not to take the bait, and the effort made him draw a deep breath.  “I am shamed by her gift.  And every time I see her struggle, it hurts again.  I am afraid it is a wound that I cannot heal,” Onmund spoke brokenly, softly.

    Bothela reached across the counter to lay her hand on Onmund’s forearm.  “Nor should you want to heal it,” her voice lost its sharpness and was suddenly low and warm.  “Sometimes a wound is a gift to remind us of what is important.  It can serve as a guide and is not a weakness, but can in fact be our strength.  Elara’s battle is more than dealing with her physical weaknesses, and you only make it worse if you want to imagine that they are not there. “

    Onmund slid his back down the wall and propped his forearms over his knees.   Bothela walked around the counter, and knelt in front of the tall Nord.   “I, ah,” he tried to speak, at a loss for words.  As he looked up at the tattooed Breton and the kindness in her eyes, he began to sob.

    She reached over and took Onmund’s head onto her shoulder, patting his back and making comforting noises.  With a deep breath Onmund looked up at her, eyes red.   “You look like I do after a long night drinking mead at the Silver Blood Inn with the old bard Ogmund,” she chuckled, handing the Nord mage a handkerchief.  He smiled back, appreciating her attempt to lighten the mood. 

    “I will help her in any way I can,” Onmund said suddenly.  Bothela had positioned herself as Elara’s guardian and he realized he had been desperate for her approval all along.

    “There is no shame in accepting such a gift,” Bothela soothed, the grandmother again.  “Rejecting it is a sin, however, so watch yourself, son.  This is real life, not some carefully controlled environment like you had at the College.  You mages like to think you can have everything your way, just because you can manipulate the energies around us.   Greater powers work through us for a greater design, and don’t you doubt it.”

    Onmund hopped up, and gave Bothela a huge hug.  “I don’t know what to say,” he shrugged sheepishly.  

    “It is all right, I am used to driving men to distraction,” Bothela cackled as she waved him out the door.



  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 9, 2013
    I like the transition to Onmund and his reaction to the situation. The bond between him and Elara will only strengthen now, not in small part due to Bothela's advice  Your theory about harnessing magical energies is brilliant and explains the whole concep...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  February 23, 2012
    Thank you all for reading and all of your supportive comments!  It has been tough working on it lately, things have not been flowing the way I would like, so this is the best that I could get.  I am feeling the pressure to finish this off, so I am trying....  more
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  February 23, 2012
    Another brill post Kyn. I didnt realise how severe the injuries were and the risk Elara took to heal him but Im glad that they are both on the mend. Once again you paint and wonderful picture with your words. The conversations and description are spot and...  more