CHIMaraderie, Part 1

  • The Elder Scrolls: CHIMaraderie

    Part 1

    Ian S. McClure


    The bespectacled man sat at his desk, fighting off waves of caffeinated hyperactivity and flights of distraction as he wrote. He wrote quickly, feverishly, lest the inspiration abandon him again. Self-doubt and paranoia lurked, as always, in the periphery of his mind, threatening to dissuade him. But he managed to shove them aside. He had a story to tell, damn it. A story that he could no longer wholly claim as his own.


    Or maybe he could? After all, it was his story. But it had taken a life of its own; was it acceptable, then, to keep calling it “his”?


    The Altmer next to him cleared her nonexistent throat. She was still nebulous—a vague image of a woman, only her golden skin and pointed ears consistent. “Ian, please. Get on with it.” she said, her exasperated voice bearing a thick Summerset accent.


    Working on it.” he responded tiredly. He then focused on her, noting various details—she was young, her face angular but pretty. Her figure was lithe, yet muscular. Authoritative, despite being just barely an adult even by human standards. She was above-average height for a High Elf, so she would tower over practically anyone else in the story. Her hair was... Dark brown? No, it was red, braided and collected elegantly behind her face. This was a mer who took great pains with her appearance, even if it would be ruined in battle later on.


    Of course I would.” she sniffed, interrupting the train of thought. “I'm from a high-class family! Have to keep some measure of self-care, even as an adventurer... Could I have green eyes, by chance?”


    The man nodded, focusing now on her background. A high-class family, she'd said. “Hmm. Not nobility, right? That's a bit too... Ordinary, for me. Written that before, will write again, but I want something more unique for you.” he said, somewhat reluctantly, sipping at another cup.


    There was a moment of silence. “A merchant family.” the Altmer suddenly claimed, with an air of confidence.


    Who specialize in magical goods? Hence their higher prices and all.” the author added, nodding. “Great idea!”


    She chuckled lightly. “I try. So, judging by the accent you gave me, I grew up in the Isles. A secluded place, relatively... Buraniim, near Skywatch.”


    The man wiped his eyes, tired but happy. “Excellent. I can work with that.” He paused, then, humming. “What shall I call you? Fallinwe? Allistonelle? Maybe Syantre?”


    Vaalilenya. Family name Elsinaan.” the woman said. A declaration, rather than a suggestion.


    ...Heh. Alright then.” the writer said, shaking the elf's hand. “This ought to be an interesting experiment.”



    Vaalilenya awoke with a start, green eyes flitting about analyzing her surroundings. The comforting morning sunlight was shining through crumbling brick walls. She was on... A cot, it seemed. Like the ones used by soldiers for the wounded. But she wasn't wounded—at least, she didn't feel any injuries or maladies. Honestly, everything around her seemed patchwork and old. Underwhelming. An oddly... Boring way to start an adventuring career.


    She noticed also the faint presence of the bespectacled man she'd interacted with in her dreams. He was called Ian McClure, though he first asked to be referred to as 'Ian Gamington the Tenebrous, Antediluvian Lord of the Oopart, and He-Who-Caffeinates'. Vaalilenya wasn't sure if he was entirely serious about that name, but either way she refused to humor him.


    Sorry about the surroundings.” he said, sheepish. “This is actually how things normally start for the Vestige in the Aldmeri territories, believe it or not.”


    The... Vestige?” Vaali asked out loud. She blinked, then shifted to what she called her 'mental voice'. “What is the Vestige, if I can ask?”


    Hey, don't be afraid to ask things you don't know.” the man said. Vaalienya sensed that, were he actually present, he'd have shrugged. “Curiosity is a virtue and all that. That's the common name for your designated Shezzarine prisoner morphotype.”


    She glared at a random chunk of wall, which she imagined had a sort of invisible 'window' to the author. “Ian, please don't start with the technicalities. Common Tamrielic or Altmeri tongues only, thank you!”


    Ian snorted. “Actually, I speak 'English'. Not that it makes a difference. So, basically, the Vestige is the 'hero' of the story. The player—such as me—creates a character to function as an avatar to experience the story for themselves. Even though that avatar can be a huge variety of races, genders, fighting styles and whatnot, they are always the Vestige, because of the events in-story.”


    I... See.” Vaali lied, with a straight face. She then sighed, brushing her hair away from her face, because of -course- it was a mess. “Fine, we'll discuss that later. So, why am I in a random crumbling tower? And,” she frowned in angered shame as she looked down, “Why am I wearing naught but rags and sandals?”


    The tower bit will be explained very soon, trust me.” Ian clarified “As for the outfit... Any ideas on that? I know you lean towards a battlemage fighting style, so I'll get you a nice staff, but any ideas on armor? Heavy, medium, light, maybe traditional mage-y robes?”


    She hummed a bit. On the one hand, she would most definitely strike a elegant and imposing figure in plate armor. Especially with elements of adamantine or malachite; she could imagine with vivid detail the rays of the sun shining off the green hues of her cuirass and pauldrons. But, on the other hand, the weight would really—


    Actually, truth be told, in your case it's mostly aesthetic.” Ian interjected helpfully. “Purely for appearance; your actual attire will be 'hidden', as it were. So you can go with steel if you want.”


    Sold!” Vaali exclaimed. “Plate armor that doesn't weigh me down is the first major boon you've brought to my existence as a... 'Syrah wine prisoner moth-o-type' or whatever you referred to it as.”


    Rrrright.” the author said, amused. “That and not being able to really die in your questing, vastly expanded power and influence, a steady influx of gold and food—“


    Priorities, my man! Pri-Or-I-Ties!” Vaali cried, only partially in jest. She was admittedly very excited. She could be shiny in battle!


    In all fairness? Shininess is a pretty nifty aesthetic in my opinion, too.” Ian said happily—Vaalilenya could sense him working on a suit of armor for her, and a staff to focus her spellcasting. Worthy for her tale! And it would be epic, comparable to such famous stories as those of Topal the Pilot, or the Keepers of the Banished Cells! And it was -her- story! Well, kind of. Hers, and Ian's, whatever that difference may be.


    Oh, I forgot to mention, didn't I?” Vaali blinked, and frowned at the space of wall again. What was Ian on about -now-? “Hopefully, we'll be getting readers from my world. An audience.”


    Vaalilenya babbled inelegantly, went from hearty to pale to flushed in a heartbeat, and was promptly knocked out.


    Oh well, was fairly certain she needed the rest for the re-written introductory cell.” Ian muttered to himself, amused. “And I sense she'd have started flipping out in a few more seconds, so best for everyone she's not conscious for that. This will be interesting, all right...”



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5 Comments   |   Paws and 3 others like this.
  • A-Pocky-Hah!
    A-Pocky-Hah!   ·  June 6
    Getting Konosuba vibes here, and I love it. At least the author/god isn't totally useless. :P
  • Dragonborn2121
    Dragonborn2121   ·  June 6
    Dude this is awesome, saw parts of it already but that ending segment was pretty much awesome with all the shininess and fainting and whatnot. Anyway, I really love the concept of this story, just the idea of casually ignoring the fabric that is the Fourt...  more
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  June 5
    I'm both enjoyably confused and not confused by how confusingly unconfusing this story is.

    Also the art makes you look like an earthbender.
  • ilanisilver
    ilanisilver   ·  June 5
    Being shiny in battle sparks joy for me too. :)
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  June 5
    Great start, He-Who-Caffeinates! So she's a mer who likes getting clanked up without the inconvenience of weight. Praise ZOS for the gold sink of the outfit system. Syrah wine Prisoners are the best Prisoners. Looking forward to more.