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Tales of the Dead - Contest Entry Thread

Not everyone is a hero, and the remains of those who couldn’t face the dangers of Tamriel are scattered throughout the provinces. Who were these travelers and how did they meet such grisly fates? In this new series of contests, we want you to get creative! If you can come up with the best story, we have some fun prizes for you.

To participate, take a good look at the image below. Then, create your own fictional entry of 500 words or less that tells us more about the scene. You can write a short story, a journal entry, or any other kind of fictional text that sheds more light on what happened to cause this grim tableau. Once you’re happy with your creation, post it in this thread.

We’ll start accepting entries today, August 11th, and will close the contest this Friday, August 15th at 11:59PM EDT. If you’re one of the three winners we announce on August 29th, you’ll receive a $25 electronic gift certificate to the Bethesda Store and an ESO t-shirt of your choosing!

You can view the full contest rules here.

Good luck, and have fun!

Edited by ZOS_GinaBruno on August 15, 2014 9:46PM
Gina Bruno
Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online
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Staff Post
  • tylerdavidsonb14_ESO
    Dear Journal,

    My two older brothers laughed at me again as we sat down for a cheese dinner.
    "You want some cheese with that whine?" they snickered.
    Well Journal....I'VE HAD ENOUGH!!!

    My rage didn't end until my quiver was empty.

    To this cheese dinner EVER!!

    A Boy Named Sue.
  • ToxicSnowblind
    Soul Shriven
    That's it. I've had it up to here with Darthor coming in 2 hours late, every night, reeking of booze and wenches, after I've slaved over the fire all evening. Tonight I even tried to do something special! I went out and harvested some of the finest grapes in Tamriel, grabbed some of our highest quality cheese from the cellar. I even added a little rat poison into the wine. But that fool... came home late again. Wouldn't even touch the wine. That was the last straw, I drew back my string, and let loose a volley. It's a shame I had so much to drink... But I managed to get him right in the head. Each of them. I can hear the guards coming, they must've heard the shots. This is it, I won't let them take me alive! *twang*
  • Twiztedmike
    Soul Shriven
    Here lies Mike Rascal, where he died in Cyrodiil after being shot for a 10,000+ damage lethal arrow. Here are his bones, picked clean by the ravens while waiting weeks for a fix.
    Edited by Twiztedmike on August 11, 2014 9:02PM
    Aldmeri Dominion
    Mike Rascal | VR11 Dragonknight
    Mike Madness | LV17 Templar

  • crimson7268rwb17_ESO
    "This story is one that is known to us. The Bosmer people are a violent and savage people. They feast on the dead and will consume their own..

    I am the last..

    While out on a scouting trip through Cyrodil, we came across a cave infested with bandits. we thought that it would make a good base of operations. We were wrong. A few days after clearing the cave and setting up camp, we stumbled on a journal written by one of the 'bandits'. It spoke of an escape. We were not sure from what they escaped, but it is clear now that those we killed there were not bandits. How could we have slaughtered innocents? But we promised to make it right.

    Doing some further investigations, we spotted bands of hunters about. They were Bosmer. Only they could move with such agility. It was marvelous to witness. We were careful however and set sentries to alert us to any presence.

    They came without warning. I was to be part of a scout force that would scout the surrounds in hopes of finding camps or other holdouts of human escapees. We knew that the people we slaughtered escaped. I was lucky.. I was mounted up and ready, when their arrows began to sing in the wind. Before I knew what happened, a few of my companions where pierced by arrows. I watched as an arrow took my commander in the head. He did not even have time to take to his feet.

    I ran! I am ashamed, but I ran. I do not want to think about what has become of them. The Bosmer are cannibals you know. Please spread this story.. We humans are not safe. The elves are coming.."

    -This is an account, told by a Breton to any who will hear him out.

    Edited by crimson7268rwb17_ESO on August 11, 2014 9:50PM
  • Asaseir8
    We finally hit that dairy - not much there, for as well off as they looked. We didn't get a lot, but there is enough cheese and wine to last us for a while. Still haven't looked in the loot bag to see what's there. Too bad that old lady got in our way - she was a feisty one. Glad we found this little glade to hide away in. They'll never find us here...
  • michaelhintz99ub17_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    It seems our lord has once again sought on us brothers of trickery to terrify the mortals. He sent with us his fork too! Odd trinket, but it will be oh so fun to use. We set it on the table after arranging all those arrows. Can mortals really miss that much? Maybe we over did it, or maybe we under did it? But the cheese it set and are skulls are pierced so we shall wait.

    Waiting seems to be boring. It’s making my teeth itch, if I had them. There was a caravan of the pointed ears who passed by earlier. Sadly they weren't the old ones who loved our lord so, but the new ones cursed by the Lady of Dusk and Dawn who put our lord in that filthy house! Oh well, it seems the teeth will continue itching.

    Nothing has happened for the last few moons. I tried talking to brother out of boredom but he said he was trying to do the fish-stick, and couldn't be disturbed. I think he’s mad!

    Oh more of the mortals are coming along! They should know time is so dreadfully boring here, I decided to record something in my journal, you’ll find it in a sack by all those crates. It’s just a lesson by my lord, here’s a taste!

    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness s
    Happiness is loneliness
    Happiness is loneliness
    H appiness is loneliness
    Happiness is l oneliness
    Ha ppiness is loneline ss

    Oh the mortals are coming down the road! And they’ve seen us! They’re coming closer! One of the small impish ones is looking at the book I’m writing in! Oh he’s reading! Don’t you love all these words, friend? You should tell your friends! Oh but wait, don’t look behind you, they’ve left! Summoned to Mania to enjoy splendor for eternity. Sadly you’ll be left here, but no issue. Remember, as our lord of madness says,

    Loneliness is happiness
  • Bumbletree
    Soul Shriven
    What's the reason behind banning Québec?
    Edited by Bumbletree on August 11, 2014 9:28PM
  • manbearpig777
    Soul Shriven
    Me and my brother were walking through the Rift meeting the riff raff at the local tavern. The drink and songs were great but the ladies were better hahaha. We ran into some tough nuts who wanted to take our ladies. I said, stand aside little brother these donkeys want my steel to pierce their brains. Long story short those tough nuts took off running. My brother and me looked like golden gods and took our ladies in our arms bringing them to safety. Once we were all in our hideout outside of town we got what we wanted and ditch those ladies back at the tavern it's about time we both get some sleep after my brother and me have a couple of meads to give us the dreams.
  • zedich
    He knew what he needed to do...
    The Breton noble said his daughter had run off with some low-born commoner, that time and again she disobeyed him, he was tired of it and paid handsomely to have the matter 'taken care of'.
    Zarnaer cursed the nobles' name, the kind of person who would have their own blood killed was the type of person he normally put into the dirt...but he needed the gold, otherwise it would be his hide taken by the loan shark.
    His group found the couple in a small clearing, sitting at a table eating the meal they had prepared. It was dark and his group of six had no problem concealing themselves in the shadows. He watched them silently, his hand held up prepared to give the signal to fire. He had made it clear he wanted clean shots from everyone, no unnecessary pain...they looked quite content where they were, she was smiling and laughing, the gentle breeze carried her crimson hair along in a light wave...and then an arrow suddenly struck the table then another and another. What was happening? He had not given the signal!
    "No! Stop!"
    She screamed as an arrow hit her lover in the head, getting up suddenly from her chair to run she was struck in the eye and fell over the chair and onto the ground...He slowly approached her body and knelt down beside it. He lowered his mask and took her still warm hand in his.
    "Sorry boss, the string slipped." One of his comrades said with a goofy smile.
    He didn't respond, he simply held her hand...he didn't want her to die with fear in her heart.
    "Laurana...I'm sorry."
  • Drakthos
    Soul Shriven
    The old man was dirty, covered in rags and smelling like a stable of guar. His white matted hair and beard were filled with leaves and twigs. “I saw it!” he mumbled in his madness with wild eyes, “In Boartusk cave, there is a room with CHEESE! DELICIOUS! AGED! I had a taste! The CHEESE never SPOILED! It NEVER RAN OUT!”

    Kirk laughed at the tale. “A load of nonsense,” he said to his wood elf friend Dassel.

    Dassel looked wryly over to the babbling old man. He replied to the Breton, “Boartusk has never been fully explored, and it’s not even dangerous, just a few spiders.”

    “Oh, so you think he could be telling the truth? Fine then, let’s go Right Now!” Kirk bellowed out, clearly drunk.

    An hour’s trek led the pair from the village to the cave. The wood elf knew most of the cave and located the entrance fairly quickly. The Breton stumbled behind, drinking ale from a bottle. “We there yet?” he asked.

    Dassel came upon a tunnel that was not there before. “Hmmm. Look at this. It’s not on my map,” he explained.

    The tunnel was different from the webbed and smelly aspects of the spider cave. The shape was uniform, like it was chiseled out of the wall. The rock was darker and seems to draw in the light from the glowing fungus and plants.

    Kirk, in his impatience, lit a torch and pushed past Dassel saying, “Come on, don’t be a ninny.” He lumbered down the uniform tunnel with Dassel at his heels. The pair came into a large chamber of grey-black stone shaped in a large square. At the center was a pedestal, and on it was a cheese wheel. The outside was black, but it gave off an enticing, cheesy aroma.

    As they neared the cheese, a voice called out from behind them, “Ah you found it!” The passage was gone, but the old man was there. Instead of rags, he wore a multi-colored suit, and his hair and beard were neat. He said to the two dumbfounded mortals, “It’s really good cheese. I promise! Go on and take it!”

    When they touched the cheese wheel, they were instantly teleported to an outside location with a table and chairs. Fine wine, grapes, and the cheese were on the table. They ate the delicious cheese and drank with the crazy old man until both had fallen asleep. Dassel was lying back in his chair, and Kirk had actually fallen over backwards, with a piece of cheese in his hands.

    Not an hour later, Bandits rode up on horses with bows. They showered the pair with arrows. One of the bandits rode up to the dead elf and exclaimed, “That ain’t a girl, boss. This ain’t them! What do we do?”

    The leader looked at the dead pair, and the disgusting smelling cheese. “Leave ‘em,” he said, “And don’t touch that cheese, it’s cursed!”
  • BigDanT
    (The reader sees a black arrow stuck to a tree with the following message attached to it)

    Let it be known that these two would-be thieves did knowingly enter the halls of the "Order of the Black Arrow", and there-in stole the "Bow of the Master". This is what happens to anyone who crosses our order. Let it be known far and wide that we do not take pity on the honorless and fool hardy.

    (The reader sees this signed with two black crossed arrows)
  • dsambtraining93b14_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    Upon fleeing from the battle of Cyrodil, and raiding their platoons rations, the two wood elves made camp. Veridax and Mortuan prepared and fine feast of wine, fresh fruits and cheese that they had stolen from their commanders tent. Drowning the weariness of battle and cowardess away with their spoils, the two made merry throughout the night. Loud and foolish the two deserters were because the merrier the became, the more noticeable they were. Singing dancing and cheering over the gold and spoils made easy tracking for the regiment of High Elf rangers hot on their trail. For as the midnight moon waned through the starry night, all became silent from whispers of arrow fire..
  • Kosar
    “…And this is Impstoolocaine powder which comes from Australia!” Vinnie Vici boasted his knowledge.

    “Now you are just making places up,” the pirate, Bobertson, sighed. “Look if you’re not going to take this seriously…” he continued, biting into the cheese.

    “Never go in against a Colovian when death is on the line!” Vinnie Vici shouted as the dead pirate Bobertson fell over in front of him. Bobertson may have been immune to the Impstoolocaine powder sprinkled on the cheese he died holding, but there is no immunity to good old arrows in the eyes. Luckily for Vinnie, he’s a smart man even if inconceivably petulant, so hiring that sniper to watch the deal paid off.

    Well, it worked for a minute anyway until the sniper decided he wanted all the gold, the girl, and the glory. ‘Never hire an Argonian named Bowser to guard a princess’ is a lesson Vinnie should have already learned if he was as intellectually superior as he claimed.

    As Bowser retrieved his Princess prize, he kicked at the bodies to make sure they were completely dead (not just mostly dead) because the last thing he needs is a mostly dead pirate showing up to storm his castle. He had enough trouble with those do-gooding plumbers as of late.

    (Like a lot of poisons, it preserved the food and drink perfectly. And if you’re wondering about the sack, all it contained was a lousy Ta that literally no one needs anyway.)
  • skrejaub17_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    Note found on table:

    Hey Jules,

    There's going to be a practice for the local Chief's archers in a couple of days and the Sargent said that he'd pay us 20 gold if we'd go and pick up all the arrows. What say we meet up and have a nice lunch and then make us some coin?

  • levitategreen13
    Soul Shriven
    “I know you have it Brint,” said Rindorn. His eyes scanned left, then right, then back to the merchant sitting at the table.

    “I don't have it. I swear.” His fingers fiddled with the hilt of his dagger while the other hand poked the charred hunk of meat that sat undisturbed on his plate.

    Rindorn drew back his hood and slid his scimitar out of its scabbard. Two quick steps and he was at the table, sword resting on the artery that brings blood down the arm; five fingers uncoiled. Rindorn motioned to the table with his head and the man's hand went to it. Rindorn took the mans pointer finger with a flick of his blade. Brint screamed, then whimpered, then watched his blood seep into the table.

    “Where...” said Rindorn as he placed the point of his scimitar on the next finger. “...Is the amulet.”

    “If I tell you where it is will you leave me alone?” The spit of fear lingered on his lips as he pleaded.

    Rindorn glared at him, the dwindling fire undulating shadows on the rock behind the man making him look large, giant even, but his eyes would not meet Rindorn's. They scanned the campsite. Back and forth. Forth and back. Finally resting on a cluster of barrels and wooden crates near the stone and the table.

    The scimitar flashed. The man yelped.

    “One more time,” said Rindorn as he sheathed his scimitar. Brint's middle finger lay atop the charred hunk of meat. He leaned backwards in his chair, slumped, staring at the recently removed finger. Blood trailed from the two fresh stumps. He whimpered.

    Rindorn took three long strides around the table and kicked him into the barrels. The wood cracked and splintered under the well fed weight. Cursing and spitting Brint wriggled out of the wreckage back to his chair, splinters stuck in his legs and palms. Splotches of blood appeared on his clothes.

    Rindorn saw the green bag stitched with runes of the ancients revealed amidst the broken wood.

    “Why must you lie so much?” Rindorn said as he turned to look at Brint, removing his scimitar once more. “Maybe they'll call you seven fingers.”

    “I have eight still,” said Brint as he wrapped his stubs, pausing to look up at Rindorn.

    An arrow exploded from the front of Brint's skull, spattering Rindorns cloak with gore. He dove to the green bag. Arrows hit the ground with a hiss and a subtle thud. Closer. Searching. An arrow pierced his shoulder. He reeled back as another arrow drove into his thigh, tripped over the chair opposite Brints slumped corpse, stumbled and turned to meet his attackers.

    Two arrows flew from the edge of light and met his eyes. Rindorn followed Brint into the bleak.

    Silent shadows moved from the dark into the firelight. Blood toiled with earth. The ancient dark will hold its secrets from prying eyes and greed filled flesh: Bones are a reminder for the mortal.
    Edited by levitategreen13 on August 11, 2014 10:41PM
  • glock777
    Soul Shriven
    "Be quiet and stay alert, the caravan isn't too far now," said Agvald, a Nordic assassin.
    He was correcting his apprentice, a young assassin in training, Sigrün. Also a Nord. They were tracking a pack of Khajiit thieves out of Morrowind. These thieves disguised themselves as quiet traders just trying to make some coin. Agvald may have loved the sound of a skull being smashed. And the color of the cold, Skyrim dirt coated in blood after a hardy battle. But he still felt warmly towards some things. Such as the catacombs of Whiterun, his home town.
    These thieves stole powerful a Nordic artifact from the catacombs in Whiterun, and Agvald would not stand by and let it happen. He would soon retrieve the artifact and have his vengeance.
    "There it is Agvald. They have set up camp for the night," said Sigrün, her golden hair gleaming in the moonlight.
    "Remember, aim for the chest, and may Talos guide your arrows," said Agvald before he rushed the camp.
    As Agvald rushed the camp with his greatsword in the air, he counted 4 Khajiit around a campfire and two Bretons at a table. They must have hired the Breton scholars in Helgen to study their new treasure. Agvald caught two of the Khajiit off guard and sent their heads rolling with one swing. The two Bretons hid behind the horses as two more Khajiit ran out from behind a boulder. Sigrün then ran in behind Agvald to even out the odds.
    The four Khajiit all rushed Agvald, not even looking at his golden haired friend. Sigrün took this opportunity to throw two daggers into the group of Khajjit. Both daggers plunged into the chests two different Khajiit. Both fell to the rocky ground, and pools of blood slowly started to form.
    As he sliced away at his opponents, Agvald shouted "Good aim apprentice! Now tie up those two scholars!"
    With ease, Agvald powered through the Khajiit and disarmed them. They fell to their knees and pleaded for mercy, but Agvald gave none. A terrifying, yet painless end was bestowed upon them.
    Sigrün tied one scholar to a chair, next to the table, but the other tried to escape. Agvald just barely grabbed the collar of the scholar's robe and threw him to the ground. He then stomped on the man's knees, breaking them and immobilizing him.
    "Why would you do this! We are but simple scholars, studying Nordic artifacts," cried the Breton scholar with terror.
    Agvald picked up the Amulet of Arkay that was stolen and waved to Sigrün to leave.
    "No, don't just leave us here," pleaded the Breton next to the fire, holding his knees.
    "What should I do Agvald?" asked Sigrün in an uneasy voice as the assassins were walking away from there handiwork.
    With his bloody beard lightly swaying in the wind, Agvald said in a sinister voice "Do what will please you. I just want my ancestors to rest in Sovngarde in peace."
    Without hesitation, Sigrün pulled out her Bow and fired a barrage of shots, killing the Breton scholars. The pair of assassins walked away slowly, both with grim smiles on their bloody faces......
  • universe555
    Dear diary,

    Found a great spot for a picnic with Dareth conveniently located behind the archery range! Spent a few hours dragging the dining room table there and decorated it with plastic fruit and cheese... great atmosphere! Bringing my Heavy Sack... always makes the ladies smile!

  • Sprondwen
    Soul Shriven
    Morndas, 18th of Evening Star

    Aratan and I have been assigned a new contract from a Queen's Eye agent. They want us to track and kill two Bretons aiding the Veiled Heritance and offered us a great deal of gold if we bring back their stolen documents. So we quickly agreed and set off on our new contract.

    Morndas, 25th of Evening Star

    After a week long search in the western parts of Cyrodiil, we finally managed to track the Bretons. They were camped outside a small cave and were celebrating the New Life Festival. They were eating goat cheese and drinking expensive Altmer wines. The documents they had for the Veiled Heritance must have been extremely important if they had such exquisite provisions.

    We waited until the embers of their fire burned down to strike. The older Breton was completely taken by surprise, as my arrow pierced his eye (I could not help but smile at my success)! The shot was magnificent, the force from the arrow sent him flying off his chair and the goat cheese he was munching on flew out of his hands! Oh! The delight!

    At the same time Aratan used his magnificently crafted handmade maple short bow to fire an arrow right in the side of the younger Breton’s head. The young boy's body slowly slouched down in his chair as the blood trickled from his skull. To celebrate, Aratan pulled his bow string back and fired a volley towards the dead Bretons. The execution of this mission was spectacular!

    As we approached the men for the documents we noticed one of the arrows had hit a nearby barrel which caused a slight crack in it. As we approached it we noticed a familiar gold light. Aratan and I looked at eachother for a brief moment in disbelief and then quickly ran towards it. Beside the barrel was also a crate so we immediately smashed them open. Inside them was gold, piles of gold packed tightly inside. We quickly opened our bags and began to fill them. We were so ecstatic we had almost forgotten the valuable documents for the Queen’s Eye, so we quickly retrieved the documents, put them in our full bags and quickly escaped.

    We met with the Queen’s Eye at an old rustic tavern and completed the exchange. The gold from the agent combined with the gold from the Bretons is finally enough for Aratan and me to buy some land away from Cyrodiil, perhaps we would even be able to return home to Valenwood! However, for now, we will celebrate with some Rotmeth.
  • Dissentinel
    Does anyone know where I can find this grisly scene in-game? I remember passing it before but I can't recall exactly where.
  • shelfstakkab16_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    Fifty shades of pain, a wife's tale

    Oh, how foolish of me, business partner baa! It's almost laughable I should have known better, ever since we tried spicing up our relationship with that god awful book series "the lusty Argonian maid" He's been stiffing around every depraved part of Tamriel.

    Well now he has finally found what he was looking for, some silly *** to sheath his sword in, well.... the only steel she will be feeling for a long time is the arrows I filled her with and that wretched husband of mine.

    Til death due us part
  • MavinMaverick
    Soul Shriven
    Epheston Malinka’s Journal
    Loredas, 13, 580
    I have waited so long for this night. All my life Zelana has ignored my advances, treating me like the dirt under her feet. I was never good enough for her wealthy family. But now I have made something of myself. The wine trade has been well to me. I have traveled the world; seen every corner of Tamriel. I have become a wealthy man who is more than worth Zelana’s lovely hand in marriage.
    I returned this night to Grahtwood to propose to her, and I have found the perfect spot. The large rock outcropping will protect us from the evening’s chill, while the nearby pool will reflect the twin moons like my darling Zelana’s eyes. Here I will show her some of my finest wares; wines and cheeses from near and far. Never will she have tasted such grand delights.
    And then, when she sees what I have become, she will fall into my arms and be mind for the rest of eternity. There is nothing her family could say now to sway her mind, for I have become what she always thought I should be.

    Zelana Heloran’s Journal
    Loredas, 13, 580
    That prat Epheston has returned. Can’t he take the hint that not only can I not stand his boil-pocked face, but I am already married? He simply wouldn’t take no for an answer. Every week for the past several years the little ant has written me letter after letter, blathering on about all the things he has seen and done. Of course, none of it new to me. I’ve been to the same places and experienced many of the same things. After a while, the mind becomes jaded and these mean nothing. Not to mention, my dearest Denartho is more the man than Epheston could ever dream of being.
    Epheston has invited me to a “reunion” feast on the outskirts of town. I have decided to go if only to tell him off once and for all. If he doesn’t listen this time, I will have to take more drastic measures. My only hope is that Denartho does not hear of this. I have seen the rage in his eyes every time I have received a letter from Epheston, and I think he would quite upset if he found out about this meeting. There is no need to drive him to rash decisions.

    Denartho Heloran’s Journal
    Loredas, 14, 580
    That lying, conniving woman. I always knew she had wandering eyes. It wasn’t until the inn keeper Jovera told me that she had seen Zelana leaving town secretly. I had to follow and see what she was up to. When I found her with that wine merchant, my eyes went red. I would say that I was glad I had my bow with me. I would say that I was glad my years of worry were over. But now, I have only the inquisition to look toward.
This discussion has been closed.