This Is War, Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Author's Note: Before we begin, I'd like to point out a few things about my story. One, while it is the central location in the beginning and will be returned to often, much of the story will NOT take place in the province of Skyrim. Two, the story takes place as if both Dawnguard and Hearthfire are included as far as equipment and certain characters are concerned, though I currently have no plans to actually include the Dawnguard or Volkihar clans. Three, I'm not too sympathetic, so please do not flame me if I kill off your favorite characters. Four, I am terrible at pictures due to being a PS3 player, so all my pictures will either come from online or suck terribly. Last, I have a lot of politics and military planning scenes in this story; for your convenience, I have decided to put these in bold, so you can decide whether or not to read them based on what you find enjoyable in a story. Except for the beginning; deal with it for a few paragraphs. I'd prefer you trudge through a bit of "boring" politics as I use the scene to flesh out his character a bit.


    War. War is death. War is pain. War is oppression. War is evil.

    War. War is life. War is the cure to pain. War is independance and freedom.

    What is war?

    Nasir knelt before High Queen Elisif, dipping his head respectfully and awaiting her acknowledgement of his presence.

    Elisif smiled at Nasir. "Oh, please, Nasir, drop the formalities. In this court, we're of equal status."

    Nasir stood up slowly. "I'll have to disagree, though I appreciate the gesture."

    Elisif gave a short, disappointed shake of the head as if she wanted to groan, if not that that would've been too unproffesional with all the Imperial nobles swarming around. "So, what brings you here, Nasir... Er, Dovahkiin?" She was clearly uncomfortable referring to Nasir as anything other than his name. She wasn't used to formal title usage; Nasir didn't have the heart to tell her he liked his name better anyway.

    Nasir gave a respectful nod of the head and presented Elisif with a large black shield, decorated with a golden dragon symbol and decorated with an assortment of red and green gems. "I'd like to open with a gift. As a symbol of..." Nasir froze for a second, thinking of the right words. He'd had a couple drinks at 11 in the morning today and throughout the whole day, his head had remained fuzzy. Never drink before 6 at night again, He noted mentally, though he figured he'd ignore the advice later. "Uh... Imperial power and prosperity, and good tidings." He mentally facepalmed. Good tidings? What am I thinking?

    Elisif looked a bit confused. She had never received a gift in such a formal manner, and she wasn't sure how to respond. "Um... Thank you, Dragonborn..."

    The ever-inconvenient Imperial nobles swooped in to capitalize on the situation. Three went to scolding Elisif and teaching her the proper response, while a fourth took the shield and gave Nasir an apology. "Sorry. Elisif is... Inexperienced. We'll put this on the wall as a lasting Imperial symbol. Now, I'd be most delighted to help you with your business while the Queen is being reminded of a more... Proper... Way to go about her duties."

    I'll probably never hear of or see that shield again. Damn good liar, though. Nasir smiled. "A few things. I've got a document here going into more detail on my requests, but I'll give you the rundown." He handed the documents to the noble and continued. "I'd like to request a detachment of twenty-five Imperial soldiers be sent to Whiterun for the purposes of strengthening presence. The Jarl is far too independent. If his land were a province, I'd understand a negotiation of cultural co-dependance. However, he has only a small Hold, and he's been fighting the Imperials constantly even since two years ago when he agreed to work with the Empire. He's directly defying Imperial legislature by allowing the Shrine of Talos to remain standing. Thus, I think we need to have a bit more control centered on him to prevent him from trying to declare outright independance from the Empire."

    The noble smiled, nodding his head. "Indeed, we were already debating that idea amongst ourselves. In fact, our most popular option is just to replace him as Jarl. Due to your variety of high status positions, I believe you have the authority to provide a suggestion as to who would be a suitable replacement, as we are not entirely familiar with a majority of the citizens."

    Nasir tried not to let the Septims shine from his eyes and instead put on a cool, thoughtful look. "I would personally reccomend Olfrid Battle-Born.  The Battle-Born clan is fiercely loyal to the Empire, and Olfrid has enough experience and skills with business to run a Hold well, as well as the necessary drive to uphold Imperial law. Also, he's well-known, respected,  and has many connections, so putting him in a position of power will certainly benifit the Empire in other, perhaps more subtle ways." Of course, Nasir considered, this will pay off big-time for me as well. Not that I need to say that.

    The noble nodded. "Seems agreeable enough. I'll keep track of that name. Now, what other business was there that you needed to attend to?"

    Just as Nasir was about to speak again, he gave a short gasp as a shudder ran through his body. The all-too familiar sound of an arrow being notched into a bow, a sound he had become all too familiar with. He spun silently around and mumbled, "Laas Yah Niir," the Aura Whisper shout.

    Everyone was bathed in a soft blue glow, except for an invisible figure crouching along the ground just in front of the stairs. Nasir cursed himself for not being more alert and quickly whipped out his bow, a unique steel and silver Imperial bow, notching an arrow and pointing it right at the red aura. "Unmask yourself in the next three seconds or you're as good as dead."

    He heard a groan, more of annoyance than anything else, and cursed as he saw an arrow start to materialize out of thin air as its weilder released it. Nasir had less than a second before it went flying somewhere it shouldn't.

    Thinking fast, he quickly shouted "Tiid!" The world slowed down immediately, and he swung around, far less affected by the slowed time than everything else. He didn't have long after only using the first word, and he quickly fired his notched arrow to intercept the arrow headed clearly towards Elisif's head. Time was released just as Nasir's arrow nicked the head of the other arrow, redirecting it enough so that it instead flew into the shoulder of a nearby Imperial noble.

    Nasir would've apologized, but he had more pressing matters, like the death of a certain failure of an assassin. He whipped around, notching another arrow and firing too quickly for the invisible figure to get more than two steps away, planting into the enemy's back, disabling their invisibility and sending them flying down the stairs.

    The guards surrounded the body. "What the...?" One mumbled.

    Nasir ran up and growled a bit. "The hell's going on?"

    Elisif wiped the sweat that had accumulated on her brow in the last three seconds and stood. "What's all the confusion about? Shouldn't you be searching that body instead of gawking at it? What's going on?"

    "It's just that..." Nasir frowned. "This one's a Forsworn..."

    Elisif looked thoughtful for a few seconds as she walked over slowly, dragging her feet across the carpet as if all the energy had been drained from her body. "Yeah, and...?"
    "The Forsworn never operate outside The Reach in any circumstances. If they're sending an assassin into Haafingar, it means they're declaring war," A guard pointed out, clearly trying to be helpful.

    He must not be married, Nasir deduced confidently from the guard's attempt at earning respect, then realized how immature that thought was and blocked it. Turning back to the body, he noticed an oddity. "Hey, look at his arrows. They're Falmer..."

    "Falmer? What about it?" Falk Firebeard asked. "They must've just raided a Dwemer ruin or something and run into some Falmer. It makes sense that they'd use Falmer arrows in this situation. I mean, they're legendary for their oddly incredible speed, and Elisif isn't armored, so bad craftsmanship isn't much of an issue."

    "I guess you're right," Nasir conceded, though he still had his doubts. "You guys search the body for any obvious clues. I'm heading to The Reach to investigate their apparent attempts at starting a war. If that's what they're up to, I'll cut them down before any soldiers have to get involved. No problems?"

    Jarl Elisif shuddered once more and nodded. "Yes, Nasir. And, uh... Thank you. You saved my life. Once you come back with a positive report, I'll make sure you're rewarded most handsomely for everything you've done."

    The noble who had taken the documents from Nasir rushed over. "I'll make sure to read over these when things die down a bit. Good luck."

    Nasir's eyes went blurry for a second - too much stress when dealing with drinking consequences - but he nodded. "Thank you. And do us all a favor as the ever-so-responsive men we tend to be... Double security." He laughed and headed for the door. As soon as he was outside, though, his head started to throb and he rubbed his temples, closing his eyes and frowning. Way too much work.

    Nasir laid down on a bed in the Winking Skeever inn. He hadn't made it more than a few steps before he understood the level of his debilitation. He put his hand over his face and wished he could cast a "Clear Headache" spell. Knowing that he wouldn't fall asleep if he tried to and would pass out if he tried to think, he opted to look back on the more pleasant days, when he had come to Skyrim for the first time.

    Well, perhaps pleasant isn't quite the right word for it, though it was a whole lot more fun. He had lived on a secluded "farm" in Hammerfell for most of his life; therefore, he was really late to hearing about the civil war in Skyrim. It wasn't long before his twentieth birthday, and realizing that he was right in his prime fighting age, he decided to do what he had been hoping to do ever since he finished reading about the Great War; repair the relationship between Hammerfell and the Empire. What better way to do that than helping the Empire put down the Stormcloak rebellion?

    Upon reaching the border of Skyrim, he came across a small scouting patrol, with the one and only Ulfric Stormcloak at the head of the party. Feeling a vibe of unimagineable good fortune, his natural vigor at the time caused him to charge in blindly in an attempt to cut Ulfric down. In retrospect, the equally perfectly-timed Imperial ambush probably saved his life. Granted, he was bagged as well and sentenced to death, but things really have a way of working out in the end; Alduin stormed in with an inferno of great justice. In all seriousness, Nasir felt like the luckiest guy in the world: three times somebody tried to kill him in such a way that each one interrupted the other. It was beautiful.

    Nasir learned of his Dragonborn identity not long after that. He became Harbinger of the Companions after a long and difficult adventure, became a student at the College of Winterhold, and most importantly, slayed Alduin the World-Eater after a long and bloody battle. Nasir was a hero, a master of battle, and... A political power.

    That's where Nasir went with his life for the next two years. He continued as a College student, earned glory for the Companions, and kept up on his adventuring life, even personally fighting Ulfric and Galmar alongside General Tullius and Legate Rikke to end the Civil War once and for all. More than that, though, he got involved in politics. He didn't know why at first; battle always thrilled him, he hated using people, and while he was smart enough to do so, political debate would be a boring way to spend his life.

    Only until those things stopped being true, that is. He still had a flair for a good match, but it shrank in the past two years; and he transferred that passion into diplomacy. It's a sad turn from a warrior's perspective, but heaps of gold and political power became a draw for Nasir, moreso than he'd be willing to admit to the other Companions. Having women and mead everywhere for him was one of those things that he'd used to have scorned. Some heroes retain the path of right, but power has the ability to change most people, even the fiercest, most vigorous upholders of justice.

    As Nasir's eyes closed, he had only the briefest glimpses of a dream of his future. He'd need to step up to the plate and return to the warrior's life sooner than he'd ever expect or wish for.

    On the horizon... Is war.

    Very cheesy ending, but I couldn't think of anything better. How was it? I'd like to hear the opinions of all you fine people on the Skyrim blog. I'd like to be critiqued specifically, but not harshly; point out my flaws, but please don't tell me I suck unless I did absolutely terrible.


  • Knowledgeable Wanderer
    Knowledgeable Wanderer   ·  October 29, 2012
    Don't worry Danny I've got plenty more coming. This is an intro; the next chapters are going to take longer because they're going to be longer. Sorry for making you wait
  • DannyBFTW
    DannyBFTW   ·  October 29, 2012
    Are you planning on doing any more of this? Sorry if you feel I'm rushing you but I really love "after the main adventure" type of stories. This was really good by the way in case you couldn't guess.
  • Knowledgeable Wanderer
    Knowledgeable Wanderer   ·  October 17, 2012
    Awesome that due to me checking my email at the best time ever I loaded this page 20 seconds after your comment was posted XDXDXD Anyway, thanks! I'm definitely going to continue, but I'm reading other blog stories and commenting on them before I continue...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  October 16, 2012
    Great beginning, KW!  Really exciting idea to explore, and the Forsworn make for a fascinating and formidable force.  Your main character has an intriguing start--he seems to be capable, intelligent, experienced, yet shows a certain weakness with the drin...  more